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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 16, 2015 08:26 AM
From: Representative Jim Christiana
To: All House members
Subject: Public School Entity Web Accountability and Transparency (SchoolWATCH) Act
I am preparing to introduce legislation that will provide Pennsylvania’s taxpayers with transparent, easy-to-find financial information concerning our Commonwealth’s public schools.

Last session, I introduced HB 1411, which would have established a searchable database providing detailed information concerning receipts and expenses of school districts, charter and cyber charter schools, and area vocational-technical schools. Although my legislation passed the House twice (once as HB 1411 and once as an amendment to SB 1281), it unfortunately did not achieve final passage. However, the current Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has taken its own steps to add public school fiscal information to the School Performance Profiles of school districts, charter and cyber charter schools, and area vocational-technical schools. The fiscal transparency system that PDE has designed will utilize information that public schools already provide to PDE, but will put the data in a centralized location and an easy-to-use format. The new system will not result in any new reporting requirements or costs to public schools.

I believe it is important that PDE’s excellent work be made permanent through statute. For this reason, I am introducing a bill that will require PDE to continue providing taxpayers with this critical financial transparency. My bill will help our constituents, who work hard to make ends meet while financially supporting their local public schools, to ensure that those schools are using their resources wisely.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Josh Konecheck at 84240 or at jkonecheck@pahousegop.com. Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as HB224