Apathy, Confusion, and Survey Data: What the Numbers Really Tell Us

I was going to write about an interesting article I read on ADHD, school choice, and blended learning today, but then I was distracted by a very interesting blog post on Americans’ understanding of education policy—or lack thereof. The irony of being distracted from writing about and ADHD article is not lost on me, but [...]

A Step Backward on School Transparency

The Denver Post’s editorial concluded that the adoption of House Bill 1292 would make Colorado “a national leader in transparency” for public education. It got the story mostly right.

Education Spending Transparency Doesn’t Require Massive Tax Hike

Colorado potentially faces a wasted opportunity in undertaking a push for greater school financial transparency. If state leaders talk up transparency as a new project and in vague terms, then they may miss the benefit of lessons already learned and fail to create a genuinely useful online tool. Part of Amendment 66’s billion-dollar promise was […]

Transparency for Higher Ed Struggles, Bears Fruit in K-12

While the education transparency locomotive hasn’t been derailed, the engineer has pulled the brakes a couple times. Open union negotiations legislation was sent to its death in a Democratic-controlled Senate committee. Meanwhile, a key higher education transparency bill has spent many weeks accumulating dust while the session clock quickly approaches midnight.

Colorado Education Transparency Train Rolls On

Union agreements bind many local school boards in how they use public funds, while also setting priorities and policies for local schools and classrooms. What other private group do we allow to have secret meetings with government officials over tax dollars and official policies? Following a 2010 K-12 financial transparency law, HB 1118 would open union negotiations to public view. The education transparency train rolls on.

New Report Shows Great Need for Improved School District Financial Transparency

Host Amy Oliver and senior policy analyst Ben DeGrow discuss the findings of a new Education Policy Center report that tracks how well Colorado local K-12 agencies are complying with a 2010 state law requiring greater online financial transparency. DeGrow, who co-authored the report with research associate Devan Crean, highlights both the large number of school districts that fall short of the standard as well as a few large and small districts that are setting the standard above and beyond the law’s requirements.

Ed News Colorado Highlights I.I. Report on State of Local K-12 Financial Transparency

Led by Ed News Colorado, local media cover the release of the new Independence Institute report on the state of financial transparency among local K-12 agencies.

Time to Show the Money: Complying with Colorado’s Public School Financial Transparency Act

Today it is more important than ever for governments to be financially transparent. The funds of public K-12 agencies in particular should be spent wisely to improve student learning. Colorado’s 2010 Public School Financial Transparency Act requires local education providers to post specified financial information online. Out of 178 school districts, 16 BOCES and the Charter School Institute, only 25 websites were fully compliant with the law’s requirement 90 days after the July 1, 2011, deadline to post expenditures through check registers and purchase card statements.

Independent Thinking: Can The State Be as Transparent as Jeffco Schools?

Watch this 3-part YouTube replay of the February 5 broadcast of Independent Thinking with host Jon Caldara, as Jeffco Public Schools CFO Lorie Gillis and our own policy analyst Ben DeGrow discuss the growing trend of local governments opening up their checkbooks.

What Should School District Financial Transparency Look Like?

Jeffco Public Schools has become a national leader among school districts by creating a top-notch financial transparency database. Colorado lawmakers have introduced two new transparency bills in 2010. As proposals are debated and initiatives implemented and upgraded, both state and local policy makers can benefit by understanding the criteria of effective financial transparency.