Pennsylvanians can now check out the broad strokes of their school districts' finances using a state website.
The Department of Education's PA School Performance site now displays school districts' general fund balances, tuition rates paid to charter schools, and average teacher salaries.
State Rep. Jim Christiana, R-Beaver, had proposed legislation to make additional fiscal information available. When his bill didn't make it to the governor's desk, the Department of Education posted the fiscal data it was already collecting from schools. For Christiana, it's additional sunlight at no additional cost to the state — or burden to the school districts.
"School districts are already reporting a tremendous amount of information," said Christiana. "Government is already reporting a tremendous amount of information, and we can then put that financial data online."
The data shows categories of spending. Christiana said he'd like to see greater detail. In the meantime, he pledged to propose legislation requiring that the fiscal data now online will remain there.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
The information isn't available for individual traditional public schools — but it is posted for school districts, charter and cyber schools, intermediate units, and vo-tech schools.