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June 21 -- The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) invites comments to OMB by July 21, 2023 regarding the planned School Pulse Panel 2023–24 Data Collection.

The School Pulse Panel (SPP) is a data collection originally designed to collect voluntary responses from a nationally representative sample of public schools to better understand how schools, students, and educators are responding to the ongoing stressors of the coronavirus pandemic. It is conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), within the United States Department of Education, in cooperation with the U.S. Census Bureau. Due to the immediate need to collect information from schools during the pandemic to satisfy the requirement of Executive Order 14000, an emergency clearance was issued to develop and field the first several monthly collections of the SPP in 2021, and a full review of the SPP data collection was completed in 2022 (OMB# 1850–0969). SPP's innovative design and timely dissemination of findings have been used and cited frequently among Department of Education senior leadership, the White House Domestic Policy Counsel, the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Congressional deliberations, and the media. The ongoing, growing interest by stakeholders has resulted in the request for dedicated funding to create an established NCES quick-turnaround data collection vehicle, with the goal of standing up a post-pandemic panel to begin with the 2023–24 school year.

The initial proposal for the next SPP study extended the collection to also collect data from school districts, but this has been canceled due to lack of funding. For the 23–24 school year, the survey may ask school staff about a range of topics, including but not limited to instructional mode offered; enrollment counts of subgroups of students for various subject interests; strategies to address learning recovery; safe and healthy school mitigation strategies; mental health services; use of technology; information on staffing, nutrition services, absenteeism, usage of federal funds, facilities, and overall principal and school staff experiences. Some new content will be rotated in and out monthly.

As in previous waves, for SPP 2023–24 roughly 8,000 (4,000 in an initial sample and 4,000 in a reserve sample) public elementary, middle, high, and combined-grade schools will be randomly selected to participate in a panel. The goal is national representation from 1,200 responding schools to report national estimates. School staff will be asked to provide requested data as frequently as monthly during the 23–24 school year. This approach provides the ability to collect detailed information on various topics while also assessing changes over time for items that are repeated. Given the high demand for data collection, the content of the survey will change monthly.

This request is to conduct the SPP 2023–24 main study data collection activities, including instruments for the first quarter of monthly collections.

NCES School Pulse Panel: https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/spp/    
Census: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/school-pulse-panel.html
NCES submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202304-1850-001 Click IC List for information collection instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-13180

For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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