Spending transparency in Oakland County continues to lead the way
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009
Contact: Ken Braun
MIDLAND - More than half of Michigan's 25 largest school districts now post an online check register showing the district's finances, according Ken Braun, director of the Mackinac Center's "Show Michigan the Money" project. Huron Valley Schools has informed the Center that this summer it became the 16th district out of 28 in Oakland County to provide this information to taxpayers.
With well over half the school districts and the Oakland Intermediate School District allowing taxpayers to see their spending accounts online, Oakland County leads the state with the best school spending transparency in Michigan.
"We have worked hard to be good financial managers for our taxpayers and we are committed to continued fiscal accountability," said Janet Roberts, director of community relations for Huron Valley Schools.
The current list of schools with online check registers at the Show Michigan the Money Web site links to the check registers of 63 conventional school districts, two charter public schools and three intermediate school districts. With many of the state's largest districts on the list, almost 23 percent of the students attending a public school in Michigan attend school in a district that makes its spending available on the Internet.
"Schools are now making the decision to show Michigan the money faster than we can keep track of," said Braun. "With 551 school districts out there, I'm sure there may be other school districts quietly doing the right thing for their communities. If so, we want to hear from them."
In addition to the strong commitment to transparency from schools in Oakland County, there are 10 districts in Wayne County with their check registers posted, seven in Genesee County and four in Macomb County.
"Districts not planning to do this already are falling behind the fiscal accountability curve," noted Braun, who predicted that at the current rate, 50 percent of the public school students in Michigan could attend a district with an online checkbook by the time school lets out in June.