District Perspectives on Engaging Stakeholders in Financial Transparency

Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states must report the per-pupil expenditures at both the school and district levels.1 For many leaders—including those at the local level—providing this level of financial transparency is uncharted territory. For district leaders, it can be critically important to help stakeholders and community members understand school finances to prevent misconceptions and build buy-in for funding needs.

Financial transparency presents a great opportunity to build trust and open communication between community stakeholders and district leaders. To learn more about district approaches to engaging stakeholders in understanding district finances, staff from the State Support Network spoke with Superintendent Fred Heid from Community Unity School District 300 in Illinois about their work to prioritize financial transparency and stakeholder engagement. This multi-media blog series captures key takeaways from Superintendent Heid on the following topics:

  • Why engaging stakeholders in financial transparency efforts is beneficial (Blog 1)
  • What strategies these districts are using to engage stakeholders (Blog 2)
  • What data visualization approaches these districts use when sharing financial data with stakeholders (Blog 3)

Each blog in this series includes audio clips from Superintendent Heid, which provide additional context to their work and successes.

Click on the following link to read the first blog in the series:

Why Engage Stakeholders in Local Financial Transparency Efforts?

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]

District Perspectives on Engaging Stakeholders in Financial Transparency