Financial transparency is not the strong suit of most public schools. That said, last week Rick Hess gave kudos in his Education Week column (subscription required) to one district that is doing a good job. Hess lauded Clark County (NV) School District for their effort to show the public how their money is spent. The district encompasses Las Vegas and a large chunk of southeast Nevada. Clark County School District is the sixth largest school district in the nation. True it’s easy to tell why NV’s costs are lower than its larger, more urbanized peers. Still the data and the breakdown is a good first step in allowing citizens to get their heads around the costs of public education.
Texas has the best transparency requirements in the country for public schools. They even require school districts to publish check registries. While North Carolina is not quite there yet, we can certainly do better.
In 2011-12, North Carolinians spent $11.9 billion (state, federal and local funds) on public K-12 education. Why is it so difficult for citizens to learn how their money is being spent?