The squeeze is getting noticed…
This letter appeared in The Daily Herald at the beginning of the month. District 59 State Rep Kathy Ryg is one of four Illinois House representatives who have sponsored and filed HB5769 – Education Fiscal Accountability amendments to the School Code
“as a result of research and collaboration by elected officials, advocacy groups, educators, administrators and school board members. As you suggest, the bill provides for increased transparency so taxpayers understand how money is being spent in their local schools and can evaluate if that investment is leading to good outcomes for students.”
The requirements of this legislation call for
- improved audit procedures,
- written financial policies prepared in plain English available to the public with opportunities for public dialogue,
- five-year capital improvement plans with a public hearing process, and
- a user-friendly executive summary of a school district’s budget.
SB members would get specific training on their financial oversight, accountability, and fiduciary responsibilities, probably in a single state scripted workshop. The bill calls for school districts to have audit committees, and a statewide office of Education Inspector General is established to investigate complaints of misconduct, waste, fraud and financial mismanagement with subpoena powers and authority to refer for prosecution if applicable.
This bill has been idling in the Rules Committee, which is where unpopular bills often die, but this may pick up steam now that the economy has tanked.