HARRISBURG – State Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) voted this week to pass legislation that would provide Pennsylvania taxpayers greater access to information on public school spending.
Gabler is a co-sponsor of House Bill 1411, which would create the Public School Web Accountability and Transparency (SchoolWATCH) Act.
“SchoolWATCH is modeled on the PennWATCH program, which I supported last session when it passed the General Assembly. These programs give taxpayers a clearer picture of how their money is being spent by the Commonwealth,” said Gabler.
“Our school districts across the state are responsible for managing billions of taxpayer dollars annually, and they should be held to the same standard of accountability and transparency. I strongly believe that greater scrutiny of taxpayer dollars will result in the more efficient and effective use of state and local funding.”
House Bill 1411 would direct the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to create a user-friendly online database detailing the revenues and expenditures of the state’s traditional, charter and cyber school districts. Implementation of the website and reporting requirements for school districts would be phased in over time to prevent additional cost and administrative burden to school districts. The bill also uses existing public school reports where possible to avoid duplicative reporting.
In addition, an amendment to the bill directs PDE to develop data linking student academic performance to school spending.
House Bill 1411 now moves to the Senate for consideration.