Technology is ever-changing and improving, and it has demonstrated its capacity to create new forums in which the public is not only heard, but also empowered to participate in the growth and success of their own communities. Through leveraging the right technology, school board transparency is encouraged and supported, allowing boards to more effectively contribute to the success of the district and increasing participation by the public.
Transparency is vital to ensure that community needs are appropriately represented and that goals are met. School boards are leaders and advocates for public education within their communities, identifying areas for growth and developing plans of action and supporting student achievement.
Leveraging Technology for School Board Transparency
But, why is technology necessary for strong school board transparency? Open meeting laws provide regulations and standards for school boards to follow to maintain transparency and trust with the community, based upon the state in which the school board resides. Complying with stringent open meeting laws is essential for school boards to establish and maintain transparency and trust with the community that they serve.
While school boards must do the work to maintain compliance with open meeting laws, building transparency and trust with the public should be a main objective of the board, regardless of the state’s specific open meeting regulations.
In compliance with open meeting laws enforced by their state, school boards can leverage meeting management software to provide meeting materials, district goal information and even videos of meetings in a central online location.
Technology can address the obstacles faced by school boards by providing user-friendly and easily accessible tools that engage and inform the public about key issues while enabling residents to share their thoughts or concerns.
Public Access to Information
Members of the community are stakeholders and stakeholders have a right to know what the return is on their investment. Success and a return on that investment can be found in treating the public with respect and maintaining transparency through sharing relevant information.
School boards can utilize software to ensure that relevant information and updates regarding goals, events, resources and projects are shared with the public. Sharing the appropriate level of information with the public promotes community ownership and trust.
Board management software can maintain pertinent board materials (such as policies, agendas, minutes, legislation and other important documents) and make this information easily accessible to board members and the public. Not only are public constituents able to access this information, but it can be made searchable by keyword.
When creating paperless meeting agendas, specific articles or documents can be linked within the agenda items. Access to meeting details, agendas and previous minutes allow for citizens to participate and engage with the school board in a way that is easy and informative.
Transparency Through Goal-Setting and Tracking
The community members that the school board represents have their own goals for the public education system and growth within the area. Board management software can provide an opportunity to boost transparency with goal setting and goal tracking.
Goal-setting features in board management software help to develop a plan of action that can be updated and maintained. This information can be manageable at different levels to maintain information that should only be board-accessible and to share information that is open to the public.
Leveraging technology resources for school board transparency allows school boards to manage their time and efforts so they can provide results on initiatives that the public is expecting to see. By using these tools, school boards also incorporate the community in plans around goals, which then fosters an active dialogue with the public.
School Board Transparency Empowers Citizens
An informed citizen is an empowered citizen. By utilizing board management technology, the school board can maintain and update pertinent information that community members need to stay informed.
To establish and maintain school board transparency, technology must be leveraged in a way that is easy to access and to use. School board management software should be easily accessible through an online platform where information can be shared or searched by keyword.
Online links to referenced materials make it easy for public constituents to follow along through searchable keyword items. Board management software even provides the capability to host an online archive of legislation, minutes, agendas, articles, reports, maps, spreadsheets, etc.
Access to information is the best way to inform, empower and engage the public.
It is through the school board that the community can be heard and the performance of the schools can be held accountable. For community members who may not be able to attend every school board meeting, greater transparency allows these individuals to maintain a sense of involvement while also staying informed of the progress made by the school board. In such cases, technology is imperative to maintaining inclusivity and public engagement.
School boards are called to reflect the needs and interests of the community through local public education and fostering commitment from the community. In today’s society, technology and transparency go hand in hand. It is discovering how the school board can best leverage technology to foster transparency and community development that will have the greatest impact on public involvement.
Community members utilize online platforms to maintain public participation and to stay informed. However, social media and similar sites are not a suitable outlet for boards to share meeting details and information on decisions and voting. A secure, streamlined tool can be used to inform and empower public constituents while promoting transparency, community trust and engagement. Community by Diligent, the next generation paperless meeting management software, leverages many key features critical to supporting all of these things. Investments in technology for school boards are truly worthwhile, as transparency supports the board in its best work and helps build a thriving communities.