Trend Analysis of Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) Utilization in a Public Elementary School

Research Paper (postgraduate), 2018

34 Pages, Grade: 1.00


Over the years, budget, in alignment with the school development plan, is a powerful tool to improve educational institutions (Kirby, 2018). A well-planned and well-spent budget helps in achieving personal, national, and global development goals (Wha, 2014). Like most countries around the world, Philippines has recognized the crucial role of school budget; hence, the Department of Education (DepEd) allocates various financial resources to schools to support them in enabling the students and school personnel to perform better (DepEd Order [DO] no. 13, s. 2016). One of these resources made available for use by public elementary schools is the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) fund.

MOOE is a government-allocated fund for public schools that can be spent on activities and necessities that support learning programs, and help in maintaining a safe and healthy environment in schools (DepEd, 2017). In relation to this, accountability in the use of the MOOE is secured by posting a transparency board on its utilization, in accordance with the Republic Act 9485, also known as the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 (Philippine Information Agency, 2017).

Though the provisions for the use of MOOE has been fairly clear, at least to the school MOOE coordinator (teacher) and the school head, data on the trends and/or patterns on its utilization are yet to be available. Moreover, despite careful considerations in allocating this fund to various school needs, researches on how it could be used efficiently has not yet been carried out, as most studies available focus on school finances in general. It is crucial that schools established a clear, realistic, and high-impact research-based plan on using government funds, specifically MOOE, as part of good governance in educational institutions.

Research Questions

The following questions guide the study:

(1) How is MOOE utilized in School X in the last 3 School Years (SYs) in terms of the frequency and amount of total expenses by item of expenditure?;
(2) What is the trend of MOOE utilization in School X from SY 2015-2016 to SY 2017-2018?; and
(3) How could the data help in creating a budget plan in MOOE utilization for the SY 2018-2019?.

Objectives of the Study

This study aims to do the following:

(1) describe how MOOE utilized in School X in the last 3 School Years (SYs) in terms of the frequency and amount of total expenses by item of expenditure;
(2) determine the trend of MOOE utilization in School X from SY 2015-2016 to SY 2017-2018; and
(3) create a budget plan in MOOE utilization for the SY 2018-2019.

Significance of the Study

This study explores the MOOE utilization in a small public elementary school in the last 3 SYs. It is interesting to note that within 3 SYs, School X has been under the leadership of 3 different principals, each having distinct leadership and spending styles. The findings in this research could help school heads in planning and making decisions related to MOOE budgeting and strategic financial management. This study may also fill in some gaps in knowledge on how MOOE is spent in public schools and hence, may help in analyzing their expenditures in other schools, in response to its objectives and needs.

Scope and Limitations of the Study

The study was conducted in a small public elementary school. It was conducted from February to May 2018.

The study was limited to the data on MOOE utilization of School X during the following SYs, namely: SY 2015-2016, SY 2016-2017, and SY 2017-2018. The data for SY 2015-2016 and SY 2016-2017 covered the months of June to May of the following year (e.g. June 2015 to May 2016); however, in the SY 2017-2018, the months of April and May were not included because the data was collected in mid-April, in which the MOOE reports for the said months were yet to be available.

The results of this study cannot be used to generalize the trend in MOOE utilization in other public schools.

Review of Related Literature

Not many studies have been conducted about finances in schools and how it is spent.

It is interesting that despite the availability of school finance data in mandated transparency boards, very few used these data to look for problems, or to forecast them, in order to improve the financial systems of schools. Also, the problem might be due to the fact that DepEd-managed schools heavily rely on the government for their funding (World Bank, 2016), unlike private schools which have to perfect their financial management to make the most from the tuition and other fees which their students pay. Hence, accountability on the efficiency and risk of fund management seems to be higher in private schools than public schools.

Filipino researchers agree that DepEd has greatly improved in its overall delivery of educational services (Philippine Business for Education & Araullo University, 2013). With the second highest allocation in the 2018 national budget, DepEd is expected to continue carrying reforms in improving the quality of the basic education (Rey, 2018). Increase in the budget for education shows the commitment of the government to implement school improvement plans; however, a detailed costing study revealed that the government allotted funds for schools are insufficient to ensure that existing service standards are met (World Bank, 2016). Another study revealed that DepEd has yet to improve in budget preparation and implementation (Philippine Business for Education & Araullo University, 2013). Both of which have been critical in strategic financial management. Furthermore, little participation of stakeholders was reflected in the planning process (Philippine Business for Education & Araullo University, 2013). Involvement of stakeholders from the planning to the evaluation stages is important to assess the needs effectively and check if the objectives have been met (Philippine Business for Education & Araullo University, 2013). With these problems in mind, opportunities for intensifying financial management in public schools arise.

Most of the funding to the public schools is provided by the government through the MOOE (World Bank, 2016). In 2013, MOOE allocations accounted for 68% of all discretionary funding, and in the case of over 10% of schools, these were the only source of operational funding they received (World Bank, 2016). The MOOE of a school is based on the following factors, namely: total school enrolment, number of teachers, number of classrooms, and number of graduating students (DepEd, 2017). While more than 50% of the school principals claim to know the formula of MOOE funding, a national survey conducted proved otherwise. The Public Education Expenditure Tracking and Quantitative Service Delivery Study (PETS-QSDS) found out that less than 10% of principals actually know the correct MOOE formula (World Bank, 2016). Moreover, only 40% of parents are aware that schools receive MOOE funds (World Bank, 2016). Hence, with limited knowledge of the formula and the MOOE itself, schools would not be able to confirm if they are receiving the correct amount of funds (World Bank, 2016). The components of the MOOE allocation formula in elementary schools is shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Components of the MOOE allocation formula in elementary schools (PETS-QSDS as cited by World Bank, 2016).

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DO no. 13, s. 2016 provides the uses of MOOE in schools, such as: utilities (e.g. electricity and water); school-based training and activities; special curricular and co­curricular programs; graduation rites, moving up, closing ceremonies and recognition activities expenses; security, transportation/mobility and janitorial services; minor repairs of facilities, building and ground maintenance, and the upkeep of the school; and the activities stated in the School Improvement Plan (SIP) for the current SY, and in the Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) of the school. A public elementary school, as a non­implementing unit, is responsible for the following: applying bonding with the Bureau of Treasury, drawing cash advance from the Division Office for MOOE requirements, and most importantly, submit liquidation reports to the Division Office for replenishing the school MOOE (DepEd, 2017). Violation to any provisions of DO no. 13, s.2016, shall be dealt with administratively as pursuant to DO no. 49, s. 2006 (DO no. 13, s. 2016).

School liquidation reports on MOOE revealed the problem of utilizing the allotted MOOE completely (World Bank, 2016). The reasons behind this problem were lack of capacity and time to meet their reporting and procurement requirements (World Bank, 2016).

Decisions on MOOE use is largely confined to the school principal and teachers (World Bank, 2016). In a survey done by PETS-QSDS in 2014, 80% of elementary school reported that teachers had been consulted about the utilization of MOOE (World Bank,

2016). The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) was reported by 30% of elementary schools to participate in discussions about MOOE utilization; 13% of elementary schools reported the involvement of the School Governing Council (SGC); same percentage was reported in terms of the involvement of parents; and less than 10% revealed the participation of local school board (World Bank, 2016).

Recent survey showed that in 2013, elementary schools had used approximately three- quarters of their MOOE to pay for the office supplies, undertake routine maintenance, and pay their utility bills (World Bank, 2016). While these are indispensable, it leaves little opportunities for schools to invest in activities that support better learning (World Bank, 2016). World Bank (2016) found through the PETS-QSDS survey in 2013 that 5% of MOOE allocation of elementary schools was spent on equipment and instructional materials which were prohibited under current guidelines. The same survey also revealed that more than 80% of MOOE is spent on allowable items. Further findings also showed that the proportion of the fund use to purchase items that are directly related to learning are relative low, with around 3% of expenditures in training elementary school teachers, and 4% of funds spent for instructional materials, such as periodicals or review materials (World Bank, 2016). Figure 1 shows the percentage of total MOOE expenses by item of expenditure.

Figure 1. Percentage of total MOOE expenses by item of expenditure (PETS-QSDS as cited by World Bank, 2016)

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Table 2 Characteristics of School X

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Research Design

This study utilized qualitative research design using case study approach.


The participants in this study were the principal and the teacher-in-charge of the school MOOE. The names of the participants and their school were kept confidential.

Data Gathering

The data was collected from school documents, interviews with the school MOOE coordinator, and copy of the official MOOE liquidation reports.

Data Analysis

Frequencies of expenditures in various items in a SY were tallied and organized in bar graphs. Pie charts were used to show percentages of spending in a SY.

Results and Discussion

MOOE Utilization in SY 2015-2016

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Figure 2 shows the frequency of total MOOE expenses by item of expenditure in SY 2015-2016.

Results revealed that electric bill was paid most frequently. It was followed by water bill, then by telephone/internet bill. Differences in frequencies of paying utilities were due to varying due dates and flexibility in payment terms (e.g. water bill has longer grace period of paying after the due date; hence, payments for 2 months were made in a single month). Also, the telephone and the internet were installed in August; hence, the payment for the service in this SY started in September 2015 and ended May 2016, completing only 9 months of service. Office supplies and test papers have been spent on the same number of times. MOOE was spent on painting materials and teacher training 4 times. Expenditures for identification (ID) cards were made 3 times in SY 2015-2016. Repairs were only done twice in the mentioned school year. The school spent for clinic supply, recognition, and graduation expenses once.

The percentage of total MOOE expenses by item of expenditure in SY 2015-2016 is shown in Figure 3.

- Telephone/internet
- Electricity Water
- Test papers
- Paint
- ID cards
- Supplies
- Graduation
- Teacher trainings
- Recognition
- Clinic supply
- Repairs

Table 3 shows the amount and percentages of total MOOE expenses by item of expenditure in SY 2015-2016.

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Results revealed that more than half of the MOOE for SY 2015-2106 was spent on the utilities. Although the school spent more frequently on office supplies than on paint, higher percentage of MOOE was utilized on the latter. Test papers and office supplies were spent in the same SY in the same number of times; however, higher percentage and amount was spent for test papers. Also, the school spent for ID cards thrice, but since it is a high-value item, 8%, or P 15 648.00, of MOOE was spent for this item. Interestingly, graduation expenses and office supplies had obtained same percentage share of MOOE; hence, one-time expenditure of graduation rites can be comparable to the amount of one-year supply of office tools in this SY. Expenditures on the training of teachers were not given much priority in this SY, with only 4% share in the MOOE. More so, very little was spent for clinic supply and repairs, barely getting 1% of the fund. SY 2016-2017

The frequency of total MOOE expenses by item of expenditure in SY 2016-2017 is shown in Figure 4.

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Results showed that electricity and water were paid most often using the school MOOE. Though electricity topped, there is a decrease in frequency in the said item than in last SY. When asked about this, the school MOOE coordinator confirmed that it was due to delay in the payments. It was during this SY when School X was past due in its payment for utilities due to shortage of funds. The school MOOE coordinator affirmed, “time ni Ma’am [name omitted], time na nagkaka-kapos-kapos tayo ng pera, inililipat ng buwan [pertaining to payments for the utilities] (It was the time of Ma’am [name omitted]; the time when fund were insufficient, so we pay our dues on the following month.).” School X also spent for repairs, paint and equipment more frequently than the previous SY. Office supplies were bought 7 times, and test papers were paid 4 times. Twice was MOOE spent for each of the following items, namely: teacher training, ID cards, and graduation expenses. The school spent once for the recognition, and once for the Grade 5 Learner’s Materials (LMs).

The percentage of total MOOE expenses by item of expenditure in SY 2016-2017 is shown in Figure 5.

- Repairs
- Equipment
- Telephone/internet
- Electricity Water
- Paint Test papers
- Supplies
- ID cards
- Graduation
- Teacher training
- Recognition
- Grade 5 LM

Table 4 shows the amount and percentages of total MOOE expenses by item of expenditure in SY 2016-2017.

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In SY 2016-2017, equipment and repairs were given priority, garnering an allocation of 15% each. These items were closely followed by electricity, and then by the water bill. Although the school had only spent 5 times on paint, it has actually spent 10% of the MOOE fund. Expenditures on test papers went down to 6%. The school MOOE coordinator explained this was neither due to the decrease in price nor the quantity of the item, but instead rooted to the shortage of MOOE fund, in which the balance for the test papers was paid using local funds. Expenses for office supplies and graduation were no longer comparable unlike in the previous SY. Teacher trainings got few portion of the MOOE at 3% level. The payment for the things used during the recognition ceremonies got a share of 1%. Photocopy for Grade 5 LMs barely got 1%. This item, however was questionable, because it did not belong to any categories of allowable items; the LMs photocopied was not downloaded from LRMDS and DepEd Central Office already provides the LMs to public schools; hence, LMs should not be paid using the MOOE.

SY 2017-2018

The frequency of total MOOE expenses by item of expenditure in SY 2017-2018 is shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6. Frequency of total MOOE expenses by item of expenditure in SY 2017-2018*

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*Data on SY 2017-2018 did not include the months of April and May

In SY 2017-2018, electricity, water, and telephone bills got the similar frequencies of expenditure. Payments for these utilities were made each month, hence, they obtained the highest frequency among the remaining items. Supplies followed with frequency of expenditure of 7. Five times did the school spent for repairs and paint, and 4 times it spent
for test papers and teacher trainings. School X spent for equipment twice. It also spent once for the Programs, Projects and Activities (PPA), ID cards, donor’s tax (for the government- donated land), recognition expenses, wage for the person who installed the CCTV around the school premises, and graduation expenses. Interestingly, it has been the first time in 3 years for School X to spend for a PPA.

The percentage of total MOOE expenses by item of expenditure in SY 2017-2018 is shown in Figure 7.

- Electricity
- Telephone/internet
- Repairs
- Supplies
- Test papers Water
- Paint
- ID cards
- Teacher trainings
- Graduation
- Equipment
- Recognition
- Tax Wage

*Data on SY 2017-2018 did not include the months of April and May

Table 5 shows the amount and percentages of total MOOE expenses by item of expenditure in SY 2017-2018.

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*Data on SY 2017-2018 did not include the months of April and May

Results revealed that the school spent the highest amount on electricity. It was followed by the telephone/internet bill. Repairs and supplies got 11% of the MOOE fund. It was followed by expenses on test papers, which obtained 10 % of the fund. The percent of expenditure on this item went higher by 4% than previous SY, because it was paid solely using the MOOE fund. The amount of expenditures on various items, such as ID cards, equipment, teacher trainings, and graduation expenses, decreased, in comparison with the previous SY; hence, providing opportunities for expenditures on low-cost items, such as PPA, wage and tax. Other recurring expenses, such as utilities, also decreased; however, it might be because the data for SY 2017-2018 did not include the months of April and May.

Trend Analysis

Table 6 shows the amount and percentages of total MOOE expenses by item of expenditure from SY 2015-2016 to SY 2017-2018.

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*Data on SY 2017-2018 did not include the months of April and May

Results showed that the biggest chunk of MOOE funds in the last 3 SYs went to paying utilities (43% in total). Telephone/internet bill garnered the highest expenditure in MOOE; although, its cost had decreased as SYs went. Moreover, this item has generally been paid on a fixed amount in each SY, unlike electricity and water, which varied monthly. One of the reasons for the varying monthly payments is the activities that render the school as venue (e.g. district camping, housing for boy/girl scouts, venue for division seminars); this increased the consumption for electricity and water, although most of the time, the head of event gave some monetary compensation for the use of utilities, which could also be used to capitalize on other items needed by the school. The school MOOE coordinator confirmed,

“usually iba-iba [pertaining to the cost of utilities]. ’Pag tayo ay nagkakaroon ng mga camping, ayan nataas. Nagkakaroon yata ng camp fee [compensation of utilities]... pero di ipinapasak sa MOOE fund. (It [cost of utilities] usually varies. During camping activities, it increases. We are given camp fee [compensation of utilities]... but it was not used to augment the MOOE fund.).” Items such as, ID cards and test papers are undeniably important to pupils. Together, they comprise 15% of the total MOOE fund in the 3 SYs which could have better spent to activities that have direct effect on pupils’ learning, such as PPA and teacher trainings. Cheaper alternatives could have been availed of to reduce the towering costs of ID cards and test papers. Expenses for equipment (6%) vary throughout SYs; in SY 2015-2016, no expense was reported for this item, but in SY 2016-2017, the expenditure catapulted to P 41 613.13, then went down to P 2 980.00 in the following SY.

To make most out of the limited MOOE funds, School X could have evaluated equipment purchases based on the urgency and importance, in which if other SYs did not need the certain equipment, why School X would spend for such in the present SY. Similar with the expenses for equipment was the expenses for repair. From an expense of just P 570.00 in

SY 2015-2016, it went up to a much higher amount of P 41 875.46 in the following SY, then it was decreased to P 23 445.50 in SY 2017-2018. Repair expenses should have also been evaluated as this item can be funded by the division and the local government themselves.

The school MOOE coordinator confirmed, “sa simula ng School Year, tsine-check up yan [school buildings and facilities], tapos bina-budget-an...although kasamapa siya [repairs] sa MOOE kasi halimbawa after na-check-up, ‘di pa siya for repair eh in the middle of the year o end of the year ay pang repair na siya o, sa MOOE na kukunin, kasi ‘di na siya reported. Hindi na siya [need for repair] nakita ng kung sino mang nagbisita. Hindi ganon kalaki ang nagagamit ng school [sa repairs] sa MOOE budget (in the beginning of the School Year, those [the buildings and facilities] were checked, then funds were allotted.. .although it [repairs] was still included in the MOOE, like for instance, after checking, it [building/facilities] was initially found as not yet fit for repair, then in the middle of the year or end of the year, repair was needed, it will be charged against the MOOE. It was not seen by the person in-charge of checking. The school do not spend much [on repairs] using the MOOE.).” To add, expenditures for this item should have been for the facility damages that have not been foreseen through planning by the beginning of the school year (e.g. damages due to natural disasters). Office supplies (9%) were one of the indispensable items in the budget. When asked about what comprised the supplies, the MOOE coordinator of School X answered, “Yung mga bond papers ginagamit ng teacher, ginagamit ng principal sa mga reports.yung mga folder, mga ink.’yan ay kasama kasi sa mga school supply. Mahal kasi ang ink.folders, envelopes, pencils... (The bond papers used by the teachers and by the principal.. .folders, bottles of ink.. .those were included in the office supplies.

Ink.. .folders, envelopes, pencils were expensive.).” Funding for teacher trainings across SYs was low (4%), which also happened to be similar with the findings of World Bank (2016).

The pattern for the 3-year MOOE expenses also showed one-time expenditures made by the school, namely: PPAs, tax, Grade 5 LMs, and clinic supply. The tax for the donated school land, and the clinic supply, could have been shouldered by the canteen through its 35% share in school operations fund, and 5% share in school clinic fund. The Grade 5 LMs should have not been charged against the MOOE funds, as it was not included in the provisions of DO no. 13, s. 2016.

The trend in MOOE utilization did not conform to the findings of World Bank (2016) through PETS-QSDS. According to the report, the most part (30%) of school MOOE in the Philippines goes to office supplies, and it was followed by repair (25%). In the MOOE report of School X, only 7% goes to school supplies, and 9% for the repairs. Huge difference was also observed on the allocation for utilities. In School X, almost half (43%) went to utilities, in contrast to around 10% in public elementary schools in the country. Printing and copying were comparable to the expenses for the test papers (each got 9%). Despite the low allocation in the funding, percentage allotment in teacher trainings in School X is still higher at 4%, than the national average of 2% (World Bank, 2016). Equipment expenses in School X were higher (6%), unlike in the Philippines schools, with the average of 1%.

Budget Plan

Table 7 shows the projected MOOE allocation of School X in SY 2018-2019.

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Table 8 shows the proposed budget plan of MOOE utilization for the SY 2018-2019.

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The table above shows the proposed budget plan for the next SY. Percent allocation for the utilities was maintained. More allocation was given to high-impact activities, such as teacher trainings, CI meetings/LAC sessions, and PPA. Budget for paint, repairs and equipment were lessened. Payments for high-value items, such as ID cards and test papers, were as much as possible, paid at once. The graduation and recognition expenses were planned to be paid in 2 months because of its high cost; although most of the portion were paid during the 1st month. Allocation for supplies was set at 10% each month, in support of the materials needed for PPA, CI meetings, and LAC sessions.


The expenses for each month in the last 3 SYs varied. There were months when the budget was rigid, and months when other items can be freely purchased. Though at certain times, the school head could not put as much items within the given budget, other sources of funds can be used to cover or augment the costs of such. More than half of the MOOE went to items that were critical to the day-to-day operations of the school; hence, leaving the school head with limited discretionary funds. Items, which had high impact to student learning and achievement, were often neglected in the budget, in place of less critical items, such as ID cards and equipment. There were also months when repairs and equipment got high portion of the fund. Frequent expenditures in repairs in equipment must be assessed if it resulted from poor planning and/or poor needs assessment at the beginning of the school year.


It is recommended to expand the trend analysis of MOOE utilization in different public schools, to compare the expenditures made by different schools, and to find patterns in their use of funds, to aid in strategic financial management. It is also proposed that school heads should look into allotting more budget to high impact items, such as teacher trainings and PPA. High allocation on repairs and equipment could also be kept to the minimum through proper planning, evaluation, reporting and follow up to the proper authorities (e.g. municipal engineer). Moreover, it is suggested that school heads plan the utilization of MOOE with the support of other funding sources, such as canteen fund, donations, School- based Feeding Program (SBFP) fund, Specials Education Fund (SEF) and similar financial sources.


Department of Education (DepEd). (2017). Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses. DepEd Order [DO] no. 13, s. 2016. Implementing guidelines on the direct release and use of Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) allocations of schools, including other funds managed by schools. Retrieved from 2016/DO_s2016_13.pdf DepEd 4-A Regional Memorandum no. 665, s, 2017. 2016 Performance-based Bonus of schools: School level 1.3 elementary and secondary. Retrieved from Memorandum-No.-665-S.-2017.pdf Kirby, J. (2018). How to plan your school budget to save money and add value. Retrieved from to-save-money-and-add-value/

Philippine Business for Education & Araullo University. (2013). DepEd’s budget process requires more fine-tuning. Retrieved from ph/issues/budget-watch/23435-deped-budget-process-requires-fine-tuning Philippine Information Agency. (2017). DepEd reminds schools to maximize utilization of MOOE. Retrieved from Rey, A. (2018). What's the share of gov't offices in the 2018 P3.8-Tnational budget?

Retrieved from watch/191632-government-office-2018-national-budget-overview Wha, L. J. (2014). Why we must invest more in education. Retrieved from inequality/

World Bank. (2016). Assessing basic education service delivery in the Philippines: The Philippines public education expenditure tracking and quantitative service delivery study. Retrieved from 99-REVISED-PH-PETS-QSDS-Final-Report.pdf


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Trend Analysis of Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) Utilization in a Public Elementary School
Educational Management
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ISBN (eBook)
trend, analysis, maintenance, other, operating, expenses, mooe, utilization, public, elementary, school
Quote paper
Ms. May Anne Joy Romanes (Author), 2018, Trend Analysis of Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) Utilization in a Public Elementary School, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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