A Look at Transparency in DCSD

sunshine week - transparency

UPDATE as of April 2, 2013:
Within 3 weeks of the publication of this graphic, the Douglas County School District:

  • Sent their Annual Report to all District parents (see email here). Quick Facts still haven’t been provided
  • Fulfilled an open records request submitted on November 19, 2012 for administrator salaries, but not did not include full compensation, including benefits.
  • Published a Final Draft 2012/13 Financial Plan and Budget on the website. This new document is under review to determine whether the same level of financial detail is provided as in past years.

sunshine week websiteMarch 10 – 16 marks Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know. This recent article in the Denver Post speaks to Sunshine Week and its importance.

Source data for this graphic:

Comprehensive Financial Budget Unavailable — for fiscal year 2012/13, only an executive summary document is published and available to the public, unlike prior years where full budgets were published providing greater financial transparency.

Annual Reports Unavailable — DCSD used to create Annual Reports and Quick Facts to make pertinent data available to the public. These documents are no longer available. Quick Facts were created annually up until the 2009-10 school year.

Public Input Has Been Devalued

Administrator Salary Details Unavailable — on November 19, 2012, the Strong Schools Coalition submitted an Open Records Request which sought the itemized salaries for all administrative employees (the same report previously made public in 2010), but the request has gone unfulfilled.

Public Comment & Letters Unanswered

Public School Board Meetings Closed to the Public

After identifying several areas of concern regarding transparency in Douglas County School District, the Strong Schools Coalition plans to make a formal recommendation to the Board of Education on how to improve district transparency. We are extending our Public Input Survey (click here) until Wednesday, March 13th and will incorporate the recommendations provided in this survey in our formal recommendation.