Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Evergreen Freedom Foundation and Me Are Best Friends Forever

I'm fine with this:

The Freedom Foundation is proud to announce the launch of our School District Transparency Project. With the goal of helping policymakers and taxpayers better understand K-12 education funding through easy access to actual spending (not just budgets), we asked Washington state school districts to post their budgets and warrants (check registers) online.
As a union guy that would make my work that much easier.

This, on the other hand, is a bit divergent from the usual conservative script:
Responses included yes, no and maybe, with many reluctant school districts citing cost as a factor in posting their budget and warrants on their websites. Given that we’re living in the Information Age, we don’t think it’s unreasonable to have a detailed expense report for school districts on the Internet for public inspection. Approval of warrants—including check number, vendor name and amount—is already part of most school board meetings. Posting warrants online requires no additional equipment, and only a limited amount of employee time. In just a few minutes, a document can be converted into PDF form and posted on the school district’s website.
This is how 1,000 unfunded mandates have ended up thrust upon the schools: "Hey, it sounds really easy, and we think it's a good idea, so you guys should do that." Later on they say that if the Districts don't do it the EFF will do it themselves, which isn't exactly a really big threat; if you're a school district that doesn't want to pay to do this, and the EFF says they'll go ahead and do it for you, then you haven't exactly lost anything.

Should be fun to watch.

Update: Brett Davis of the EFF has posted a nice reply on their website, here.

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Anonymous Brett said...

Check out EFF's response here:

1:59 PM  

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