School transparency checklist

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Sunshine Review had a general transparency checklist for School district websites.

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Taxes Y
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Budget Y
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Meetings P
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Elected Officials P
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Administrative Officials P
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Contracts Y
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Audits N
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Public Records N
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Academics Y
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Background Checks N
600px-Red x.png

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Transparency grading process

School Transparency Checklist

An ideal school transparency checklist would meet at least two criteria: inclusion of relevant information and interpretation of data whose meaning or importance is not self-evident. Bonus points might be awarded for trend data (e.g., on tax increases in recent years) or benchmarks and cross-district patterns (e.g., tax and salary data for nearby districts or test scores from districts with similar demographics.

Financial transparency

Are the following documents available online and readable with widely available software?

Financial documents

  • Annual budget
  • Check registers
  • Property tax rates (millage)
  • Income or other tax rates

Process-related materials

  • Scheduled board meetings (including committees)
  • Board meeting agendas (including committees)
  • Minutes of meetings
  • Board policies
  • Board contact data
  • Administration contact data

Key budget components

  • Superintendent salary
  • Salary schedule, teachers
  • Union contract(s)
  • Formal board and union proposals in current negotiations

Academic performance documents

  • District "Report Card"
  • Test scores
  • Dropout/graduation rates