Transparency is fundamental to District 49 standard operations and in full alignment with the big rocks of our strategic priorities, in particular, “Engage Our Community” and “Sustain Enduring Trust.” A critical assurance in meeting these priorities is providing access to relevant information and interpretation of data to our stakeholders and the community.
Our longstanding commitment to transparency found a fixed position among the values depicted on the first version of our Cultural Compass. As we’ve matured as a district in holding fast to the values that shape how we treat our work and each other, we have incorporated transparency into the broader compass point of “trust.”
We welcome every opportunity to provide access to information. By engaging with our community, we are committed to nurturing trust, strengthening relationships, increasing collaboration and communicating honestly with staff, stakeholders and the community.
As a public entity, our staff and community have the right to examine the process of decision making and to hold our publicly elected board accountable. Transparency prevents corruption as well as promotes accountability, responsibility and integrity.
Please see the links below that can offer access and insight into information and data about which the community needs to be informed.
Parents and community members that wish to see classroom curriculum can contact the individual school for more information.
Transparency for Ballotpedia / Sunshine Review
The Ballotpedia/Sunshine Review transparency checklist is a 10-point list of website transparency features that citizens in any part of the United States should be able to find when they visit the websites of counties, cities, school districts and state agencies.
The 10-point transparency checklist was created by Sunshine Review. They believed that, while steps like the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) helped to create a more open government, the government had an additional responsibility to participate in affirmative disclosure. As such, they conducted transparency evaluations to encourage open government, a political doctrine holding that the business of government and state administration should be opened at all levels to effective public scrutiny and oversight.
Sunshine Review approached transparency with an attitude of "if it's there, then it's transparent." To decide what should be on the checklist, they sent out surveys to various organizations and compiled the most common items on the list of responses to create our transparency checklist. Evaluations included the following 10 basic items, which they felt should be addressed and provided by government websites.
The 10 Points for school districts are:
Budgets: Annual budget, check registers and superintendent salary.
Open Meeting Laws: Board and committee meeting schedules and agendas, meeting minutes, board policies, board and administrative contact information.
Elected Officials: List of school board president, members and superintendent
Administrative Officials: Contact information for school district administrative officials.
Information can be found on each department's webpage.
Building Permits & Zoning: Not applicable
Facilities (Though D49 does not issue permits or zoning codes, here is a list of D49 buildings.)
Audits: Information about regular financial and performance audits.
Contracts: Contracts and bids with a union, vendor or supplier, as well as teacher contracts and pay schedules. Formal board and union proposals in current negotiations.
Lobbying: Not applicable
Public Records: Information for filing a FOIA request.
Taxes: Property tax rates (millage), income or other tax rates.
Other: Academics, district "report card," test scores, dropout and graduation rates.
Other: Background Checks, information about the school district's policies regarding background checks of employed staff.