Burbio School Tracker:  Documenting School Board Meetings

This week we look look at keyword searches from a new Burbio dataset, K-12 school board meeting documents, plus 2022-23 enrollment announcements in North Carolina and Montana

1.  K-12 school board meetings cover a wide range of district policies and Burbio has begun compiling documents from these meetings, which are generally held monthly, for insights into school operations.  This week we launch our newest tracker with just over 400 school board meeting summaries from districts representing just over 24% of the K-12 population.  We examined a minimum of three district board meetings from every U.S. state, with the exception of Hawaii and the District of Columbia.   

We will be expanding the coverage of our dataset in the coming weeks, and also building out and maintaining the history.  Similar to ESSER III and other school financial disclosures, school board meeting documents vary in their level of detail.   

The data below represents the percentage of district that mentions a term at least once; stated another way, if a district mentions a term multiple times, it only counts as one.   Also, the documents searched are for each districts most recent available meeting.  To use an example from the chart below, 18.6% percent of districts referenced HVAC and 11.0% of districts furniture in just the last month; others who didn't mention those terms may reference those initiatives in future meetings we compile and monitor. 

The first chart includes terms involving purchasing and equipment.   The majority of districts have contracts and related points on their monthly agendas: 


Next up is academic terms.   We were struck by the frequency and breadth of academic references, in particular given that this is just one month of meetings: 


Our final chart this week are terms around school culture.  Similar to our  the results found in our substack on terms in ESSER III plans the terms equity and achievement appear equally.  


In future weeks we will be publishing more charts and please contact us with suggestions for search terms.

2. This week we also take a look at 2022/23 enrollments in two states, North Carolina and Montana.  First up is North Carolina, which saw enrollment increase 0.8% versus 2021/22.  Below are the year-over-year comparisons by locale, with the comparison in yellow:  


Below are North Carolina changes by grade:


Montana's enrollment was up 0.9%.   Note the dramatic jump in the suburbs: 




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