Sen. Joyce Elliott (D-Little Rock) Wednesday filed SB 681, too late for passage this session, to require full public access to records of private entities that receive public money to operate schools.
This bill would extend the Freedom of Information Act to the records of the private management corporations that rake in millions in public dollars to run charter schools. It would also reach records of private schools receiving burgeoning voucher funding in the state.
It’s called the Public Dollar Transparency Act. Who could object? I
Here’s an example of someone who’d prefer to limit access to school finance records, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle:
A trio of intertwined charter school networks operating within Houston ISD have paid or lent at least $17 million during the last five years to a company owned by their highest-ranking employee, an unusual arrangement drawing criticism from some HISD school board members ahead of a vote to renew their contracts.
Maybe in 2021, with an earlier start, public school advocates can get an early start on requiring the accountability of charters and private school recipients demanded of real public schools.