Transparency in School Budgets
After reading an article on the GASD school budget in the Gazette, I wanted to take a look at the details of the budget. So I went to the GASD Web site to see if I could find PDF document of the budget. As May 20th is approaching, I figured there would be some documentation on how the $53M is being spent. But alas, my visit found no document.
This led me to check how other school districts get information out to the public. Here is what I found:
- Perth Broadalbin Central School District — Budget Newletter available (PDF)
- Fonda Fultonville — Budget Brochure available (PDF)
- Scotia Glenville — a number of budget presentations (HTML page)
- Galway Central School District — embedded within their newletter (PDF)
Again I’m baffled why budget information is still not made available as of May 9th. The GASD board and administration wonder why no one shows up for public comment or why the budgets are not adopted. I think the answer is simple: you cannot engage the community when you do not provide the community with any information with which to engage. The districts above as of this writing have posted the info so clearly generating a PDF version of the budget information is feasible. And no, the inevitable response of “Citizens can go to the GASD administrative offices for a copy of the budget” does not pass muster.
It’s 2008 not 1908.