Democratize School Budget Data
President Barack Obama has repeatedly said to the public that when it comes to education spending, "we need to hold ourselves accountable for every dollar we spend." Rather than think of the president’s goal as a rhetorical flourish, why not take it seriously? Specifically, why not require all school checkbook expenditures to be made accessible online—and in a structured, downloadable database that would allow citizens to search for and slice and dice the data in whatever way they might want?
Historically, school districts have published and posted on their Web sites budget data in summary views only. Summary views answer questions such as how much a district spent on student transportation in general, but not on a particular bus route; how much it spent on energy in general, not at a particular school; and how much it spent on total employee benefits, not a particular benefit such as sick leave.
There are three primary reasons citizens should support breaking school officials'...
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- Perspectives Charter Schools, Chicago, IL
- Assistant/Associate Professor, Literacy
- Regis University, Denver, CO
- Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
- Lake Forest School District 67 & 115, Lake Forest, IL
- Director of School Support
- The Achievement Network, Multiple Locations
- Princeton Public School District, Princeton, NJ