Peyton Wolcott from Texas was honored with a terrific article in the Austin American-Statesman on Friday:

Horseshoe Bay woman’s crusade for openness gets help from lawmaker: Bill calls for school districts to post spending online.

Peyton Wolcott, a veteran agitator who encourages school districts to be open and honest with parents and taxpayers, features something on her watchdog Web site she calls the National School District Honor Roll.

With the help of State Rep. Bill Zedler, Wolcott’s honor roll could swell with the names of more than 1,000 Texas school districts that would be required by law to post on the Internet every check they cut.

There is nothing to stop school districts across the country from voluntarily doing so, of course.

I urge District 211 to initiate this practice.

Right now, D211 communications administrator Tom Petersen won’t even tell me how much D211 spends every year to belong to the shadowy lobbying firm Ed-Red.

“Go ahead and file a FOIA” is in essence how Mr. Petersen ungraciously responded to my inquiry last week.

I’ve also emailed Ed-Red itself — three times — and they’re not saying, either.

If the D211 checkbook register was online, we, the taxpayers and parents, could find out without having to go through the cumbersome and expensive FOIA process. We’d also save some employee at D211 from having to dig up that information when we do send in a FOIA.

It would also promote a sense of greater transparency and show a willingness to be open and communicative with D211 parents.

Almost all of the school board candidates have pledged their devotion to better communication.

Posting the checkbook register online would be a great place to start.

Advertisements