Why Engage Stakeholders in Local Financial Transparency Efforts?

As of 2018, each state and school district is required1 to report per-pupil expenditures at the school level on its annual report card. Families should be able to understand and use these data to make the best choices for their children. For community members, these data can help build the understanding and engagement needed to support local investment in school systems.

The following profile and audio clip describe how Community Unit School District 300 approaches and prioritizes stakeholder engagement in their financial transparency efforts.

Community Unit School District 300

Community Unit School District 300 is in Algonquin, Illinois (about an hour west of Chicago) and serves just over 20,000 students. To see Community Unity School District’s local report card (including per-pupil expenditures), please download the at-a-glance report from the Illinois State Report Card site here.

Superintendent Fred Heid of Community Unit School District 300 observes the importance of communicating the potential return on investment (ROI) of school funding. School systems can play a critical role in the economic health of a community in many ways, such as attracting potential homebuyers with families or supporting the development of a robust local workforce. Superintendent Heid notes that by articulating the benefit of successful schools to the entire community, it is possible to build strong engagement around school finances.

To listen to Superintendent Heid’s perspective on the importance of communicating the ROI of successful schools, click the play button below.

For a transcript of this audio, click here.

For more resources on engaging stakeholders in financial transparency issues, please see:

Check out the next blog in the series: How Can School Districts Engage Stakeholders in Financial Transparency?

1 Under ESEA section 1111(h)(1)(C)(x) and (h)(2)(C), state and school district annual report cards must include “the per-pupil expenditures of federal, state, and local funds, including actual personnel expenditures and actual nonpersonnel expenditures of federal, state, and local funds, disaggregated by source of funds, for each local educational agency and each school in the state for the preceding fiscal year.”[Back]

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