Website Provides Hard-to-Find School Information - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro--Heather Flanigan Reports

Website Provides Hard-to-Find School Information

March 23, 2004 -- Posted at 5:15 p.m. CST

JONESBORO -- Finding information about a school district can often be difficult and frustrating. But a new website is making things easier.

"All this material is public information, and it always has been public information," said Wilma Maiers of the Arkansas Education Association.

By law, schools must post information about district related issues....but Maiers says finding that information hasn't always been easy.

"For example to find teachers salaries you have to go the county board of education and hopefully there was someone there, to get superintendent salaries, you had to do the same thing," said Maiers.

But now, that information is just a click away. A web site sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Education lists everything you need to know about any school district in Arkansas.

The web site is www.as-is.org, and it's not just parents looking at it.

"It's been very helpful for teachers, because now that teachers are looking at having to consolidate in some areas, they often want to know what the policies are in the districts around them, what kind of working conditions they have," said Maiers.

But are some schools hesitant to put that information out there?

"It's a case of if you don't know the information, where you have to work real hard to get it," said Maiers, "A lot of districts don't always want to have the information about their budgets and where the money is actually being spent."

And Maiers says keeping the public educated is the best thing schools can do.

"The more citizens know about what's going on in their schools, the more information they have the more likely they are to support any changes or to support improvements in the district," said Maiers.

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