State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced today the launch of a publicly accessible website, www.schoolfinance.nc.gov, to provide better financial transparency for North Carolina’s public schools.
Developed in partnership with the Government Data Analytics Center of the N.C. Department of Information Technology and Cary-based SAS, the North Carolina School Finances website provides an easy-to-navigate yet powerful tool for citizens, parents, educators, policymakers, and taxpayers alike to access the facts about how the more than $15 billion that funds the state’s public schools is spent.
“As the elected leader of North Carolina’s public schools, I want to encourage constructive discussions about our education system,” Johnson said. “A subject as important as our public schools deserves all the transparency we can provide.”
The NC School Finances site is part of the multi-million-dollar, multi-year School Business Systems Modernization program that the General Assembly has funded to modernize systems including financial and payroll information, human resources information, and capital and repairs and renovations planning information systems at both the state and school district levels.
While saving the state money in the long-run by harnessing the bulk purchasing power of state-level contracts and absorbing prohibitively expensive start-up costs, the program will also allow for better data-driven decision-making at both the state and local levels.
Site users can explore both how schools are funded and how those funds are spent at the state and local level, whether the funds are spent by a school district or a charter school. Across the site, the level of detail displayed begins as general, but users can easily access more detail by drilling down for more information on the numerous charts and tables used to convey information.
Overall, Johnson says he hopes the resource will serve to create more fact-based conversations about North Carolina’s public schools, noting how education benefits all of North Carolina’s society and the state’s future.
“Education is what can create a path for every student, no matter their background, or where they live, to be able to work hard and reach their American Dream,” Johnson said. “And, our education system is vital for the economic future of our state. By launching this resource, I hope to provide greater transparency for where our taxpayer dollars are going.”