How Do School Districts Spend Our Money? Texas Lege bill HB 2560 AND One Woman's WebsiteSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


How Do School Districts Spend Our Money? Texas Lege bill HB 2560 AND One Woman's Website

22 March 2007 at 12:27:30 PM

Imagine if every Texas school district had to post PUBLICLY every check they cut. While we're waiting for this bill that would mandate posting spending bills on the internet, a woman, Peyton Wolcott, has created a website for this.  (I see that there's news about the Cleburne ISD's TEA investigation on that site, incidentally).

Zedler, R-Arlington, said he was moved to draft House Bill 2560 by what he recognized as a groundswell by Texans who want to know how all of their taxing authorities are spending their money. The bill has been referred to the House Public Education Committee; Zedler serves as vice chairman.

Zedler's House colleagues have filed bills mandating that all state agencies post their spending on line. Spending disclosure has the support of Gov. Rick Perry. The state comptroller's office is one of several agencies already posting expenditures. The Texas Education Agency, which already posts its check register, is making plans to provide a brief explanation for each payment, spokesman Robert Scott said.

All of which makes Wolcott of Marble Falls feel as though she were prescient in her quest to prod school districts to voluntarily set up sites for people to view their spending.

"I think something very interesting is happening. Basically, this is a populist movement by people who want to see their school districts succeed and are concerned when they see evidence of waste in school spending," Wolcott said.

Wolcott said she made a commitment to open up her school district after making what she said was a broad and clumsy request for school records a few years ago. The district rewarded her with a $426 bill for copying records Wolcott declined to accept because of the cost.

After harnessing the open records issue to a school board race in 2004 that resulted in the election of five new members, Wolcott turned to creating a Web site that would monitor school issues not just in Texas, but nationally

Catch that? This became an ISSUE in Horseshoe Bay (by Marble Falls) that put in FIVE new school board members.

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