Bill Requires Schools' Chartering Agencies to Post Financial Records for Easy Public Access
Today, Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to bring greater transparency and financial accountability to the growing number of charter schools in America. The Charter School Transparency and Accountability Act amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to require all authorized chartering agencies to publish on the Internet the financial expenditures of each charter school receiving federal funding from the Department of Education.
"While charter schools play an important role in attempts to reform education in America, it is only fair to hold them to the same standards as all other public education institutions," said Rep. Baca. "Too often, charter schools and their sponsoring agencies are able to hide from public oversight. By mandating that all financial expenditures are posted online, this responsible bill helps to ensure tax payer money is being put to good use, and discourages future behavior by charter schools that may lead to waste, fraud, and abuse of federal education dollars."
The Charter School Transparency and Accountability Act allows the Secretary of Education to determine the appropriate manner in which each chartering agency posts online the breakdown of financial expenditures for its corresponding charter schools. If an agency does not comply with this new regulation, the Secretary of Education will cease to make federal funds available to any of the charter schools authorized or approved by the agency until the agency complies with the law.
"Unfortunately, much of the information we have gathered on how charter schools spend their federal dollars is troubling at best," said Rep. Baca. "It is imperative that parents and local communities have the access to information and oversight tools so that appropriate decisions can be made on what types of schools can best improve education and create greater opportunity for students everywhere."