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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: April 16, 2013 04:22 PM
From: Representative Jim Christiana
To: All House members
Subject: SchoolWATCH Act
I am preparing to introduce legislation that will establish a searchable database detailing the revenues and expenditures of school districts.

In 2011, the General Assembly enacted the Pennsylvania Web Accountability and Transparency (PennWATCH) Act, which established a searchable database providing detailed information concerning the budgets and expenditures of state agencies. Modeled after the PennWATCH Act, my bill will require the Department of Education (PDE) to create a similar database for school districts to be known as SchoolWATCH. The SchoolWATCH database will provide taxpayers with thorough information concerning the amount of funding received by school districts from federal, state, local and private sources, payments to outside entities, and employee compensation. Records that are not subject to disclosure under the Right-to-Know Law will not be included on the website. School districts failing to report information to PDE as required under the bill will be subject to withholding of state appropriations.

In addition to my SchoolWATCH legislation, I am also preparing to introduce separate, but related legislation that will establish a searchable database detailing the revenues and expenditures of charter schools, regional charter schools and cyber charter schools.

Our constituents are proud that we chose to disclose how we spend their tax dollars with PennWATCH. The people of Pennsylvania deserve the same level of transparency from their school districts.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Introduced as HB1411