How to Report on School and College Finances Using the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) Database
The searchable municipal bond database makes it easy for education journalists to find and examine municipal bond filings.
You don’t have to be a CPA to glean lots of story-worthy facts and trends from the Electronic Municipal Market Access, better known as EMMA.
EMMA is an often overlooked in-depth database of municipal securities data and documents. Education reporters can find and examine this data, but they may not know where to start.
The Education Writers Association teamed up with Data Visualization Developer Peter D’Amato to create a how-to video and a list of resources for reporters on how to use the database.
Watch the video, and when you’re ready to tackle the EMMA database, visit https://emma.msrb.org/
EMMA Documents Listed in Order of Video Appearance
- Mesa County Valley School District 51 in Grand Junction, Colorado
- Hamden, Connecticut general obligation bonds
- The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio
- Fox C-6 School District in Jefferson County, Missouri
- Dehesa School District in San Diego County, California
News and Information Resources Cited in Video
- Texas School District And Former CFO Charged With Fraud From $20 Million Bond Sale (Forbes)
- Doubly Bound: The Costs of Issuing Municipal Bonds (Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society)
- Flying Blind: What Do Investors Really Know About Climate Change Risks in the U.S. Equity and Municipal Debt Markets? (Hutchins Center)
- Short on financial knowledge, some school districts get bad deals on bonds (The Hechinger Report)
Bond Ratings Cited in Video
Other Resources Related to School Finance and Municipal Bond Filings
- The Roosevelt Institute has studied all sorts of financialization efforts in education, partially focusing on bond funding.
- Bruce D. Baker, a professor of public finance at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, runs a blog about school finance.
- Local reporters should also search for bond commissions in their city, county or state overseeing a specific bond. One example of this is the Bond Accountability Commission in Cleveland, Ohio.