Project Kids Overview
Project KIDS (Key Integrated Data Systems) is a special in-depth performance audit that integrates financial, operational, and performance data to create interactive visualizations that inform Utah stakeholders where the money is going in public education. The data used to populate these visualizations are collected from the Utah State Board of Education, Local Education Agencies (LEAs), and Transparent Utah. Data from those key systems are used to allocate expenses down to the student level and analyze spending using a bottom-up approach.
These data dashboards allow users to analyze spending at higher levels of granularity than any other methodological approach has allowed for. Stakeholders can see spending at the district, school, subject, teacher, classroom, and even the individual student level. The purpose of this audit is not to prescribe how money should be spent, but instead is meant to empower stakeholders at each level of education decision-making to make data-driven financial allocation decisions. Project KIDS works to integrate data from previously siloed data sources, to make this information more easily accessible to public education stakeholders who also understand the goals and unique characteristics of their entity.
This performance audit answers the question: Where did the money go in public education? These non-normative visualizations then allow stakeholders to ask, within the confounds of other contextual knowledge: How well was the money spent? Project KIDS has built this methodology with the hope that these visualizations will empower LEAs and other stakeholders to ask more informed questions and to make data-driven decisions to more closely align their financial resource allocation with their strategic goals.