A Way to Get School Finances Back Under Control
Published June 25, 2019 in Governing
Amid demands on school districts for increased spending, a troubling trend is emerging: School district leaders are approving budgets and signing labor deals they can’t afford. It’s a dangerous and disruptive cycle that throws these districts into financial turmoil, produces layoffs that hurt students as well as teachers, and can leave states and taxpayers on the hook for cleaning up the mess.
This commentary lays out why it may be time for states to establish agencies modeled on the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) to certify school district obligations before they take effect and push districts into financial crisis.