Thursday, March 11, 2004

No. 4 in a series on school finance



Another suggestion for schools and education bureaucracies to be more financially accountable to the public would be for them to post their job titles, salaries and value of benefit packages on their websites.

There wouldn't be any names, but there would be functions and how much they make. You know: each individual teacher, health aide, janitor, clerk typist and so forth would be listed, and for each job title, it would show X number of days worked in a year, X amount of salary, and X amount of benefits.

I know, I know, it would be embarrassing, especially in small towns, for everybody to know how much the superintendent makes since there's (hopefully) only one superintendent . . . but tough. It's our dough. We deserve to know how it is being spent.

This needs to be done for school districts and all levels of governmental agencies or organizations which support schools, and are funded by our tax dollars.

This would go a long way toward exposing where noninstructional bureaucracy is weighing things down. Imagine if all the salaries being paid to people who work in the humoungous administrative building in the Omaha Public Schools were listed individually, for example. It would be instructive indeed. Imagine if people knew how much was going out for salaries in the ESU's and the State Department of Education, too.

Since personnel costs are such a major influence on school expenditures, it's hard to understand why this isn't already happening.

It's hard to imagine who would be against this . . . except bureaucrats who have something to hide. And what can be good about letting bureaucrats continue to hide how they're spending our dough?

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