“More to come,” predicts director of “Show Michigan the Money” project
For Immediate Release
Monday, July 6, 2009
Contact: Kenneth M. Braun
MIDLAND - Seven Michigan school districts, including the fourth-largest in the state, have joined the ranks of districts posting their checkbook registers online, according to the Mackinac Center's "Show Michigan the Money" Director Ken Braun. The new districts providing spending details for public inspection are Plymouth-Canton, Greenville, Manchester, Beal City, Grosse Ile Township, Davison and Carrollton. At least 47 public school districts - with more than one of every six public school students - now provide this information on the Internet.
Officials from other districts around the state have contacted Braun to announce their intentions of adding their check registers to the list later this summer.
Braun recently completed an effort to directly contact all 551 Michigan public school districts and ask for this information to be displayed on their Web sites.
"We expect that the typical Michigan student will attend a district with an online check register by year's end," Braun predicted. "Those districts not yet planning to join this growing movement risk becoming conspicuous exceptions."
With the addition of Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, the state's fourth largest district, half of the 20 largest districts now provide online check registers. At the other end of the spectrum, Beal City - with fewer than 700 pupils - joins Chassell Township and Stephenson Area Public Schools as one of the smallest districts providing its public with more comprehensive expenditure details.
"The reception to this idea from districts both large and small shows that size and funding are no impediment to transparent spending," said Braun. "An administrator or school board with a respect for the public's right to know is the critical common denominator."
Links to the school district checkbook registers are available at www.mackinac.org/9329.