District 51 transparency

In the run-up to last week’s vote on Referred Measure 3B, the mill levy override for School District 51 that was soundly defeated by voters, some people claimed the school district was attempting to mislead voters about what has occurred with its budget.

So it’s interesting that the Golden-based Independence Institute reported this week that District 51 is just one of 24 school districts in the state that is fully compliant with the 2010 Public School Financial Transparency Act.

The act required school districts to post budgets, salary schedules, lists of purchases and other financial documents online for free by July 1 of this year. The Independence Institute, a conservative, free-market group, checked the websites of 195 school districts and boards of cooperative services on July 1 and again on Oct. 1. Both times, it found only 24 that were fully compliant.

The budget of any large organization such as District 51 is complicated and often confusing. But the fact the district so quickly embraced the 2010 transparency law should alleviate fears that District 51 officials are trying to hide something in the budget.


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