Pennsylvania's New School Board Transparency Site Gives Good Ideas
I get excited to see the ball move forward even a little bit on the issue of school district transparency. Whether it’s the district’s checkbook or its union bargaining sessions, this kind of information should be easily accessible to parents and other taxpayers through the Internet.
As part of a year-long campaign to provide greater transparency in school district labor negotiations, the Commonwealth Foundation has unveiled a new website and blog, SchoolBoardTransparency.org. SchoolBoardTransparency.org will offer insight and advice in the labor negotiations process for school boards and citizens. The site will provide regular posts on issues, news, and best practices in school district labor negotiations, and allows users to comment and create posts on a moderated blog.
The project will also include a “how-to” manual for school board members looking to provide greater transparency during union negotiations and a resource for media covering public school labor negotiations. The guides will provide the important questions to ask and explain the key issues typically involved in labor negotiation contracts.
Besides its regular blog-style updates, School Board Transparency also provides more effective school districts with praise and constructive criticism.
Right now, I’m hoping the folks here in the Education Policy Center will look at promoting a similar sort of project for Colorado. Right now, voters in Jefferson County, Denver and several others would benefit from having transparent, easy-to-access information on how their school districts are spending tax money so they could make more informed decisions on mill levy and bond proposals.