When Alabama’s two-year college system became the latest state government entity to put its checkbook online in a bid for transparency last month, members of the Alabama board of education wondered why the same couldn’t be done in the K-12 system, reports the Associated Press. Board members, who are mulling possible action to force the system to act, said listing financial transactions and other details on the internet for all to see is the best way to prove dollars are being spent responsibly. But officials at the state Department of Education said it’s just not that simple. Among their concerns: There are 132 school systems in Alabama and they operate on different computer systems, some of those computer systems would need to be upgraded with new software, and it’s unknown if the added workload and initial setup can be handled at a time of tight staffs and budgets.
"Those concerns have been addressed to the state board, and further research and consideration is now being done," Alabama Department of Education spokeswoman Malissa Valdes said May 7. There were initial questions about whether the school board even had the authority to require systems to post their checkbooks, but the department’s general counsel determined it can…
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