Schedule a demo

Delivering Data You Can Trust

3 min read

What Can Be Found in Proper K12 Student EFA Codes? How about an extra Half a Million Dollars

June 13, 2023 at 2:42 PM

Cindy Williams had the stiff neck and crisscrossed eyes to prove she’d done her job protecting the critical funding her school district needed but was in threat of losing.

She is now 100 percent confident that using State Data Validation Suite (SDVS) software from Level Data, Inc. – those days are over.

Williams, most recently running PowerSchool in her new district of Limestone Charter Association in South Carolina but who came from a large traditional district, learned the hard way a few years ago about keeping student funding in place for her former district.

“I LOVE LEVEL DATA!” Williams wrote in an email. “The validation tool has been a tremendous help to ensure accurate student data.  I do not miss the days of submitting data to the state, receiving an Excel spreadsheet of errors and then correcting errors and resubmitting.  The Level Data validation tool does the work for you in regard to hunting and identifying errors or potential errors.  It allows you to make corrections prior to data submission.

“One of the highly valuable components of the state validation tool is Students with Misaligned EFA codes,” she continued. “This component identifies students who do not have the highest weighted EFA code as their primary EFA code thus resulting in a loss of funding.  

“Before we received access to (Level Data’s) tool, I, along with a colleague of mine, had to manually check each student in a district of over 10,000 students.  We recognized the schools had made some errors in entering data.  We had to check each student by hand to ensure we were getting the most funding.  The task was long and tedious.  After developing tired necks and crossed eyes, we completed the task.  We found and corrected errors that allocated our district an additional $500,000-plus in funding.

Williams could not stop praising the fact she won’t have to go through that or similar tasks ever again, thanks to the state of South Carolina providing Level Data’s software service to each public school district. Williams recently said she had no advanced expectations of Level Data’s software and services for PowerSchool because she: “never sat through a sales pitch. But the more we looked at it and dug into the offer and saw what it could do for us, I was in heaven.”

Unique to Level Data’s SDVS is a color-coding model of red, green and yellow. While users perform data management in PowerSchool, the Level Data plug-in flags errors with a red X, identifies valid data with a green check mark, and data that might need further examination turns yellow. Williams said her staff members are always striving to get the green check mark as validation of their accurate work.

“That is a great visual,” she said. “In most cases, everyone wants to perform well. And everyone wants the most funding and everybody wants the most accurate student data. And the fact that you can be on a screen in PowerSchool and you’re getting ‘the teacher’s seal of approval’ so to speak, because you’ve got the green check for 100 percent. Or then the red X, you failed to do something, or the yellow that tells you maybe that needs looking at more. It’s a good visual to let someone know that it’s right, or it needs attention. It’s a great tool.

My tagline for PowerSchool for our district is: ‘Excellent Customer Service and Accurate Student Data.’ And I think Level Data helps us do both of those things.

The Bottom Line Isn’t Always Funding:  

Williams added that having clean and accurate data goes beyond funding to help pay for student resources, it includes the need to properly identify each student to provide the special resources to help kids in need.

“If it’s not in your PowerSchool, then other people (in the district or school) don’t know that this child needs accommodations, or this child needs something else,” Williams said.

The bottom line is, I don’t care just for funding. I don’t care just for what goes to the state; the bottom line is accurate coding and accurate data makes sure that the students are getting (the services) they need. That’s the number one goal, and then it just trickles down.

Tom Lang
Written by Tom Lang

Tom Lang has spent more than 3 decades in the field of journalism and marketing, while always having a hand in public education. His father was a school teacher, his mom a school secretary, and his wife teaches high school English and Humanities. On his own, Tom worked his way through college as a school bus driver and today remains closely tied to education as a Board member of FIRST (Robotics) in Michigan. He has worked with high school coaches and athletes for nearly 30 years as a freelance sports writer at the Detroit Free Press, and for more than 10 years as a basketball referee. Bottom line -- help kids grow, learn and create productive futures.

Post a Comment