Tag Archives: checkbook

School Spending Transparency Opponents Are Running Out of Excuses

It’s been a couple months now since the Democrats running Colorado’s House Education Committee went out of their way to double-super kill school spending transparency. But no matter how uncomfortable it may make some politicians feel, the issue simply is not going to go away. The Reason Foundation’s Lisa Snell points us to a new Education Week column that explains why school officials really are without excuse when it comes to true financial transparency:


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. Our friends in Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth Foundation, have launched the latest noteworthy effort (H/T SPN Blog): 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 […]


Jeffco Voters Need Clearer Information to Decide Funding Proposals

Colorado’s largest school district is one of many asking voters this year for more operating tax revenue and for bond debt to fund school construction. An article in Sunday’s Denver Post quoted one of my Education Policy Center friends with concerns about Jefferson County’s proposals (designated 3A and 3B): “They are asking taxpayers to build in a district with declining enrollment,” said Ben DeGrow, a policy analyst at the conservative Independence Institute think tank. Referendum C, a five-year timeout from TABOR revenue restrictions passed in 2005, and a 2007 law that allowed local property taxes to grow should be providing “a lot more revenue” for Jefferson County and other school districts, DeGrow said. Referendum C provided more than $300 million to K-12 education in 2006-07. No one doubts that Jeffco and other school districts need a certain amount of money to provide educational services. So it’s not a simple matter of voting Yes “for the kids” (like me) and voting No “against the kids.” If funding were attached directly to the student, and the parents could decide where to send their children, there would be a stronger case for that simplified line of thinking. However, that’s not how the system […]