Tag Archives: online financial transparency

Ben DeGrow Plugs Commonsense, Parent- & Taxpayer-Friendly Reform

Yesterday morning, my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow took to the airwaves for a quick interview on Colorado’s Morning News (850 KOA). He talked about the awful federal “stimulus” bill, the need for online financial transparency, and gave a shout-out to parent-friendly school choice reforms. I was too busy getting out of bed and getting ready for school to hear it for myself, so I was glad to get a copy we all can go back and listen to: Right on! Now is the time for commonsense reforms that empower parents and taxpayers, not federal boondoggles that subsidize more of the same.

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Leaner Budget Times Call for Colorado Schools to Post Finances Online

It’s going to be a tough fiscal year for education officials used to managing ever-expanding tax-funded budgets. 2009 just might be a year in which policy makers and administrators find ways to cut out the fat and focus the lean spending on classroom success. One way to help is to empower everyday citizens – like my mom and dad, and thousands of other Colorado taxpayers – with detailed financial information online so they can help find cost savings. What am I talking about? It’s called online financial transparency. Can you imagine if school districts and other local education agencies all had searchable databases on their websites that allowed you to see exactly how money is being spent? What once was a distant dream is fast approaching reality. My Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow explains it all in his new backgrounder Shining the Light on Colorado School Spending. Transparency promote greater public accountability and confidence that local schools are being run efficiently and effectively. In many cases it also pays for itself. Today’s technology means it requires little time and cost to put up these databases. Hopefully, some Colorado school district will take the lead and do this on its […]

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Answers to Failed Tax Proposals? More School Choice and Transparency

On Tuesday, voters in Colorado’s largest school district rejected both a mill levy increase and bond proposal: “When you are a people intense organization those reductions will be people,” [superintendent Cindy] Stevenson said. “That’s teachers, counselors, librarians, um, special education staff. That’s where we’re going to have to look for cuts. And that’s going to be difficult because that will result in increased class size, fewer choices for our kids, less teacher training.” Stevenson said the money from the ballot issues would’ve gone toward teachers, books and significant structural improvements. The first reaction many may have is: Why doesn’t the district threaten to cut the number of administrators rather than classroom staffing? No doubt there are some additional efficiencies that could be found by rearranging these priorities. But no matter how good it makes some people feel to say so, just cutting the size of central administration isn’t the answer.

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