Which lawmakers will support transparency over lobbyists

April 19th, 2012 by Amy Categories: Colorado, higher education, politics No Responses

COST just received word that HB 1252, a bill that would require Colorado’s institutions of higher education to make public financial information accessible online, finally will be heard in the House Appropriations Committee next week.  An amended version of sponsor BJ Nikkel’s bill passed the House education committee on February 27.
Sources tell us that the [...]

CU compensation report and the tuition debate

March 3rd, 2012 by Amy Categories: Colorado, higher education No Responses

Brittany Anas of the Daily Camera reports that University of Colorado President Bruce Benson wanted to speed up the vote on CU’s proposed 15.7 percent tuition hike in order to minimize media scrutiny.
Below is a compensation report with details of raises for administration and faculty after the last 9.3 percent tuition hike. (This [...]

The good, the bad, and mediocre of transparency in higher ed

February 24th, 2012 by Amy Categories: Colorado, higher education No Responses

I had a simple mission. Find out how many employees were making above $100,000 in total compensation in Colorado’s institutions of higher education. I also wanted a two year comparison so that I could see how much, if any, employee compensation had increased.
More importantly, this turned out to be an exercise in transparency and attitude. [...]

2012 Transparency Legislation

January 22nd, 2012 by Amy Categories: Colorado, PERA Colorado, higher education, other states, stimulus No Responses

Transparency is still an issue at the state capitol. Early in this 2012 legislative session, three bills could provide taxpayers with additional transparency in government.
HB12-1009 Federal Funds Transparency Act
House Sponsors: Cheri Gerou (R-HD 25)
Senate Sponsors: Kent Lambert (R-SD 9 )
This bill seeks additional information than is currently provided on how each department and agency of [...]

How "transparent" is your school district?

November 8th, 2011 by Amy Categories: Energy, events, health care, higher education, local transparency, school district No Responses

Want to know the answer to that question? Then read the new report from the Independence Institute Education Policy Center titled Time to Show the Money.
Co-authors research associate Devan Crean and senior policy analyst Ben DeGrow reviewed 178 K-12 school districts, 16 BOCES, and the Charter School Institute to determine if they were compliant with [...]

Issue Committee status equals newspaper access

October 30th, 2011 by Amy Categories: Energy, events, health care, higher education, local transparency No Responses

A local property tax increase in Loveland has attracted all the usual supporters including the teachers union, administration, and other status quo educational-industrial complex advocates. They have an issue committee, volunteers, money (including contributions from the Colorado Education Association and top district administrators), and access to the local newspaper’s guest editorial page, which the opposition [...]

Loveland supports school district transparency

October 8th, 2011 by Amy Categories: Energy, events, higher education No Responses

Loveland taxpayers want to know how the Thompson School District is spending their money. In the first hour of her Bake Sale for Transparency, Nancy Rumfelt of Liberty Watch raised more than $700 (in addition to all the baked goods) to pay the fee that TSD demands to fulfill her open records request.
Considering the school district [...]

Thompson School District MLO "facts" don't add up

September 6th, 2011 by Amy Categories: Energy, events, higher education One Response

The Thompson School District in Loveland, Colorado will ask voters to give up an additional estimated $12.8 million annually for the next 12 years to fund schools. In August the school board voted unanimously to put the Mill Levy Override on the November 2011 ballot.  In a press release the board stated:
The district is seeking [...]

A high price for access

January 15th, 2011 by Amy Categories: Energy, events, health care, higher education, local transparency 2 Responses

Denver Post political investigative reporter Chuck Plunkett asks a thousand dollar question: Is $1,050 an unreasonable amount to pay for access to public records? As a diehard proponent of open, transparent government obviously I think the cost is out of line.
In my experience with open records request, I have found that charges vary from agency [...]

Fort Collins blocks transparency

October 4th, 2010 by Amy Categories: general, health care, higher education, local transparency One Response

For a city that was on the cutting edge of transparency, today’s article about Fort Collins‘ lack of transparency in official communications among city council members came as a shock.
Greg Campbell of Face the State reports Fort Collins City Council is not using the email account set up so residents or other interested parties can [...]