Senate committee OKs transparency requirements for school districts


Tom Schultz, director of the Idaho Department of Lands, told a legislative interim committee that investments from the endowment lands produced a record return in fiscal year 2014.

Transparency took center stage Wednesday with the Idaho Senate Education Committee approving legislation to require local school districts to publish their budgets online.

“I know there were fights about this in previous years,” noted Sen. Branden Durst, D-Boise. “But I’m not sure why we would not want people in our districts to know how their money is being spent,” he told his fellow committee members.
With that, members unanimously approved Senate Bill 1055.

If it becomes law, SB 1055 will require local school districts to publish both their annual budgets and their master teacher union contracts on their respective websites.

“I think transparency is always a good thing,” said Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls. “Transparency and truthfulness are the directions in which government is moving, generally. The same is true for public education, as well.”

The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

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