School board members and school administrators need to change their spending habits. As transportation costs explode, causing enormous strain on school district budgets, now is a perfect time to rethink those budgets.
Board members and superintendents should take an inventory of which staff and services are vital to educating students and which ones aren’t. Go through the budget line by line and check expenditures to see if they are necessary and result in higher student achievement.
Our new website, TexasBudgetSource.com, is intended to give parents and taxpayers the tools they need to become additional sets of eyes that help their local school districts with this process. But only one in seven Texas school districts posts its check register online, and the Keller City Limits blog correctly notes that even where such information is made public, it is of limited usefulness when presented in a “static PDF” format that doesn’t allow the user to “sort, categorize and manipulate the data.” Hopefully the existence of TexasBudgetSource.com will provide not only the impetus for additional districts to share their spending information, but the improvement in how such information is presented.
Businesses and taxpayers have to cut spending and trim fat in their budgets. School districts need to follow suit.
– Brooke Terry