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Notice

Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

Agency: U.S. Census Bureau.

Title: Annual Survey of School System Finances.

OMB Control Number: 0607-0700.

Form Number(s): F-33, Survey Announcement, F-33-L1, F-33-L2, F-33-L3.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Burden Hours: 3,990.

Number of Respondents: 3,230.

Average Hours per Response: 1 hour and 14 minutes.

Needs and Uses: The U.S. Census Bureau requests an extension of the current expiration date of the Annual Survey of School System Finances (formerly named the Annual Survey of Local Government Finances—School Systems) to ensure accurate collection of information about public school finances.

The Census Bureau's collection of school district finance data and associated publications are the most comprehensive sources for pre-kindergarten through grade 12 finance data. The data are collected from the universe of school districts using uniform definitions and concepts of revenue, expenditure, debt, and assets. This effort is part of the Census Bureau's Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances (OMB No. 0607-0585). Data collected from cities, counties, states, and special district governments are combined with data collected from local school systems to produce state and national totals of government spending. Local school system spending comprises a significant portion of total government spending. In 2010, public elementary-secondary expenditures accounted for nearly 30 percent of local government spending and 35.8 percent of state government spending.

This comprehensive and ongoing, time series collection of local education agency finances maintains historical continuity in the state and local government statistics community. Elementary-secondary education related spending is the single largest financial activity of state and local governments. Education finance statistics provided by the Census Bureau allow for analyses of how public elementary-secondary school systems receive and spend funds. Increased focus on education has led to a demand for data reflecting student performance, graduation rates, and school finance policy—all of which are related to the collection of this local education finance data. State legislatures, local leaders, university researchers, and parents increasingly rely on data to make substantive decisions about education. School district finance is a vital sector of the education data spectrum used by stakeholders to form policy and to develop new education strategies.

The education finance data collected and processed by the Census Bureau are an essential component of the agency's state and local government finance collection and provide unique products for users of education finance data.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) use items on Form F-33 to develop figures for the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Reported F-33 data items specifically contribute to the estimates for National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA), Input-Output accounts (I-O), and gross domestic investments. BEA also uses the data to assess other public fiscal spending trends and events.

The Census Bureau's Government Finances program has made possible the dissemination of comprehensive and comparable public fiscal data since 1902. School finance data, which comprise nearly 30 percent of all local government spending in 2010, are currently incorporated into the local government statistics reported on the Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances. The report contains benchmark statistics on public revenue, expenditure, debt, and assets. They are widely used by economists, legislators, social and political scientists, and government administrators. The Census Bureau expects to release school finance data as part of its 2012 Census of Governments products.

The Census Bureau makes available detailed files for all school systems from its Internet Web site, www.census.gov/govs/school/. That Web site currently contains data files and statistical tables for the 1992 through 2009 fiscal year surveys. Historical files and publications prior to 1992 are also available upon request for data users engaged in longitudinal studies. In addition to numerous academic researchers who use F-33 products, staff receive inquiries from state government officials, legislatures, public policy analysts, local school officials, non-profit organizations, and various Federal agencies.

The U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) jointly conducts this survey annually with the Census Bureau as part of the Common Core of Data (CCD) program. The education finance data collected by the Census Bureau are the sole source of school district fiscal information for the CCD. NCES data users utilize electronic tools to search CCD databases for detailed fiscal and non-fiscal variables. Additionally, NCES uses F-33 education finance files to publish annual reports on the fiscal state of education.

Affected Public: State, local, or Tribal government.

Frequency: Annually.

Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

Legal Authority: Title 13, Sections 161 and 182, of the United States Code.

OMB Desk Officer: Brian Harris-Kojetin, (202) 395-7314.

Copies of the above information collection proposal can be obtained by calling or writing Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, (202) 482-0336, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at jjessup@doc.gov).

Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to Brian Harris-Kojetin, OMB Desk Officer either by fax (202-395-7245) or email (bharrisk@omb.eop.gov).

Dated: June 21, 2012.

Glenna Mickelson,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

[FR Doc. 2012-15515 Filed 6-25-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-07-P