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Notice

Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Survey of Local Government Finances (School Systems)

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

U.S. Census Bureau.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).

DATES:

To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before March 13, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

Direct all written comments to Diana Hynek, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 7845, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at dHynek@doc.gov).

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Wendy Stralow-Owens, U.S. Census Bureau, Governments Division, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233-6800; (301) 763-1510.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

The U.S. Census Bureau plans to request an extension to the current Office of Management and Budget clearance for the Survey of Local Government Finances (School Systems).

The Census Bureau collects education finance data as part of its Annual Survey of State and Local Governments. This survey is the only comprehensive source of public fiscal data collected on a nationwide scale using uniform definitions, concepts and procedures. The collection covers the revenues, expenditures, debt, and assets of all public school systems. This data collection has been coordinated with the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The NCES uses this collection to satisfy its need for school system-level finance data.

Information on the finance of our public schools is vital to assessing their effectiveness. The products of this data collection make it possible for users to search a single data base to obtain information on such things as per pupil expenditures and the percent of state, local, and federal funding for each school system. Since the passing of the No Child Left Behind Act, there has been an increased demand for data on the Nation's public schools. This survey provides the needed information on the financial aspects of local school districts.

The five forms used in the school finance portion of the survey are:

Form F-33. This form contains item descriptions and definitions of the elementary-secondary education finance items collected jointly by the Census Bureau and the NCES. It is used primarily as a worksheet and instruction guide by the state education agencies that provide school finance data centrally for all of the school systems in their respective states. All states supply their data by electronic means.

Form F-33-1. This electronic form is used at the beginning of each survey period to solicit the assistance of the state education agencies. It establishes the conditions by which the state education agencies provide their school finance data to the Census Bureau.

Form F-33-L1. This is a supplemental letter sent directly to school systems in states where the state education agencies cannot provide information on the assets of individual school systems.

Form F-33-L2. This is a supplemental letter sent directly to school systems in states where the state education agency cannot provide information on the indebtedness of individual school systems.

Form F-33-L3. This is a supplemental letter sent directly to school systems in states where the state education agency cannot provide information on either indebtedness or assets. This letter combines the items requested on Forms F-33-L1 and F-33-L2.

The data collection is identical to the previous collections.

II. Method of Collection

The U.S. Census Bureau collects almost all of the finance data for local school systems from state education agency databases through central collection arrangements with the state education agencies. The states transfer most of this information in electronic format over the Internet via file transfer protocol. The Census Bureau has facilitated central collection of school finance data by accepting data in whatever formats the states elect to transmit.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0607-0700.

Form Number: F-33, F-33-1, F-33-L1, F-33-L2, and F-33-L3.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: State and local governments.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 3,249.

Estimated Time per Response: 1.29 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 4,185.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $96,000.

Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

Legal Authority: Title 13 U.S.C., Sections 161 and 182.

IV. Request for Comments

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

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Dated: January 6, 2009.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. E9-305 Filed 1-9-09; 8:45 am]

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