By William Newell

Before people make financial decisions, most seek out information in order to make better choices. But according to a recent report by the Cato Institute, when Oregon voters are tasked with making financial decisions about K-12 education, they are hard-pressed to find the information they need, let alone interpret what is available.

The report, entitled Cracking the Books, measures financial transparency in K-12 education throughout the nation. In the study, Oregon performed dismally, earning an “F-” and ranking 44th. New Mexico and South Dakota took the top two spots, receiving the only “A’s” for their transparency efforts. Only seven states scored higher than a “C+”. Our West Coast neighbors Washington and California performed well and were rewarded with a “B” and “B-,” respectively.

Of the four categories used to analyze the state’s education financial information, Oregon scored best in public accessibility, with a score of 10.5 out of 15. Alternatively, Oregon failed to earn even half the points available in the transparency categories for per-pupil expenditures, total expenditure data, and average salary data.

Quality, accessible information for voters is essential to making good policy. If Oregon really wants to stand up for transparency and accountability in government, then the state should learn from our neighbors and start with more transparency in its biggest budget item, K-12 education.

William Newell is a research associate at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization. He is a graduate of Willamette University.

 

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Oregon failed to earn transparency categories for per-pupil expenditures, total expenditure data, and average salary data. | Tim McMenamin - September 5, 2013

    […] A recent report gave Oregon an F- for financial transparency in education. How does Oregon compare to its neighbors Washington and California? Before people make financial decisions, most seek out information in order to make better choices. But according to a recent report by the Cato Institute, when Oregon voters are tasked with making financial decisions about K-12 education, they are hard-pressed to find the information they need, let alone interpret what is available. cascadepolicy.org/blog/2013/09/oregons-opaque-k-12…ances […]

Leave a Reply

 

Other Publications by

More On These Topics

Testimony on Measure 86 to Portland Community College Board

Steve Buckstein | September 23, 2014
The following testimony was presented to the Portland Community College Board at their meeting on September 18, 2014.  The Board then voted 5 to 2 ...  read more

Cascade Policy Institute Encourages a ‘No’ Vote on Measure 86

Steve Buckstein | September 18, 2014
The Board of Directors for the Cascade Policy Institute recently voted to oppose Measure 86, known as the Oregon Opportunity Initiative, on November’s ballot. Measure ...  read more

School Choice Fosters Students’ “Profound Gratitude,” Author Says

Kathryn Hickok | September 17, 2014
Students everywhere are back in school, including grade school children from low-income families who are attending Oregon private schools thanks to the Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland. ...  read more