For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008
Kenneth M. Braun
MIDLAND - Bullock Creek School District in Midland County, Chassell Township Schools in Houghton County and Farmington Public Schools in Oakland County will all be regularly placing their check registers online for taxpayer inspection after being requested to do so by the Mackinac Center 's ongoing "Show Michigan the Money" transparency project.
"We are excited," said Chassell Superintendent Mike Gaunt. "We take stewardship of taxpayer funds very seriously, and this gives us a monthly chance to prove it to our community."
"It is important to keep the public informed," added Bullock Creek Superintendent John Hill. "Finances are a particularly important area, and I want to recognize the leadership of the Mackinac Center on this issue."
Farmington's decision came as a result of a request made by the Mackinac Center to each of Oakland County's public school districts before school began in September. The Waterford School District, Clawson Public Schools, Bloomfield Hills Schools and the Oakland Intermediate School District had each already made it a practice to post their check registers.
"Thanks to the work of our finance staff, our district has continuously received both Meritorious Budget and the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting awards from the Association of School Business Officials since 1997," said Farmington Superintendent Sue Zurvalec. "We are committed to transparency, and posting the check registry is just one example of how we do this."
The Montrose Community Schools in Genesee County was apparently the first district to make its check register available online. At least two other districts, one from Oakland County and one from West Michigan, have also contacted the Center and may be posting their checkbooks soon.
"I think we'll see increased transparency in the rest of those Oakland County districts as well," noted Kenneth M. Braun, director of the Show Michigan the Money Project. "I'd encourage taxpayers and parents to ask their school board members to ‘show them the money' by following these examples."
A listing of the districts that have agreed to provide check registers and those that have been asked is available at www.mackinac.org/10694.
The Show Michigan the Money Project will next focus on school districts in Michigan's other large counties, Braun said.