The idea of crowdsourcing budget hearing dates wasn’t as fruitful as I had hoped. My sincere appreciation to the five folks who took the time to find the dates and times of their district’s budget hearings.
So, I began the arduous task of searching for budget hearing announcements in a familiar place: Google. “Alabama school budget hearing” turned up a number of dates, but not nearly enough.
Next stop: school district web sites. Was an announcement on the home page? In the District News section? In the district Calendar?
I looked through Minutes of meetings in July and August (when I could find them). I paged through eboard sites.
And then, in somewhat of an experiment, I sent a request for the dates via Twitter to those districts who I found to have Twitter accounts. My thanks to those who responded!
All in all, it was too many clicks. Particularly when you end up with dates of budget hearings for only 47%, or 64, of Alabama’s 136 school districts. Though that is up from 37% in 2012.
To be fair, the Public Budget Hearing law doesn’t require anyone to post notice of the hearings on their web sites. But given that every district has a web site, wouldn’t that be a fairly simple way to do it?
The award for best budget hearing announcement goes to Thomasville City Schools (sorry, there’s no money attached…just the recognition for doing the right thing).
THAT is how you announce your budget hearings, folks.
Here are the dates found in collaboration with my new best friends. Pelham City Schools is not yet mapped, but no dates could be found for their budget hearings.
And here’s a look at how many days there are between hearings. The bigger and greener the circle, the more days between hearings to allow input to be taken and adjustments to be made before a final vote by the board of education.