Citizens will soon know exactly how their tax dollars are being spent in their local school districts thanks to a bill signed into law earlier this week. Sen. Randy Brogdon is author of Senate Bill 1633, which creates the School District Transparency Act. The bill is an expansion of Brogdon’s 2007 Taxpayer Transparency Act, which created a website to show taxpayers how the state spends their tax dollars.
“The Taxpayer Transparency Act was a tremendous success and citizens appreciate having full disclosure of how their tax dollars are spent. Senate Bill 1633 was the logical next step in my effort to open up the government process,” said Brogdon, R-Owasso. “This is the people’s money and we have the right to see how it’s being spent. By having every dollar accounted for, I believe we’ll see less and less waste in public school expenditures.”
The bill requires the State Department of Education to maintain a database on its website by January 30, 2011 of school district expenditures that the public may download. The database will include information such as credit card statements and per pupil expenditures as well as budgeted and audited expenditures for each fiscal year. The information must be made available within 120 days after school districts provide it. School districts that maintain websites must also make such data available on those sites.
“In a time when every school district in our state is struggling financially, there is no room for waste. Our students need all the resources they can get, and my bill will ensure that public funds are used as efficiently as possible,” said Brogdon.
The new law will go into effect November 1, 2010