Texas Education

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Transparency within Katy ISD

Posted by Texas Education on July 7, 2008

This goes along with ethics, leadership and accountability…transparency! Our schools SHOULD have transparency, nothing should be hidden. In today’s outlook Alton Frailey, Katy ISD super responds on the article recently in the Chronicle.

Fortunately, the Katy trustees backed away from their absurd plan to ask state lawmakers to require information seekers to justify their requests. But their last-minute reversal before the scheduled vote was not because the trustees suddenly saw the wrongheadedness of the proposal. Rather, board members and Katy Superintendent Alton Frailey decided they didn’t want to fade the heat for preventing the community from knowing what goes on inside Katy ISD.

“I don’t want our board to be conflicted and misconstrued and misrepresented as trying to thwart public information,” Frailey said. “I’m not wanting to carry the water, but I have put the bucket in the well.”

Had the board proceeded, the public would have rightly seen it as being against open government.

Mr. Frailey says:

The editorial board should be applauded for noting that “repetitive, massive or petty requests for public information that are unfocused fishing expeditions or meant to harass administrators are aggravating and can cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.” This issue is real and is very much unknown by the majority of taxpayers. We have received feedback from those angry at the thought of having to tell the public why they are using public resources. But we have also received feedback from those angry that they are not allowed to know why someone is using a public resource their tax dollars provide.

This is certainly quite a controversial issue. We don’t want unwarranted, repetitive or fishing expeditions, but…we do want our leaders, administrator and yes, even our teachers to know they should keep everything above board and have nothing to hide. But, and I know this from personal experience, it is good to disclose information that needs to be out in the open. It CAN save thousands of dollars. Sometimes our officials and administrators don’t always know what is going on, and this is one way the public and those in charge can find out shady deals, hidden agendas, and down right corruptness.

I do applaud Mr. Frailey and the board for not preventing the community from knowing what goes on inside Katy ISD. If we keep the lines of communication open, have a trusting relationship, less and less people will find the need to go on fishing expeditions.

Wow, and speaking of transparency, A conversation on transparency on their website.

He says,

At our June 18 Board work study meeting, I presented to the Katy ISD Board of Trustees a series of Advocacy Resolutions for the Texas Association of School Boards to consider for the next legislative session on behalf of Texas school Districts. These resolutions ranged from giving control of the school calendar back to local districts to requiring no further unfunded mandates from Austin.

I like how this guy thinks! Yes indeedy! “giving control of the school calendar back to local districts” and requiring no further unfunded mandates from Austin.” You go man…


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