If you don’t know Senator Tom James, a Republican representing Sweetwater County, you should. He’s helped improve the transparency of Wyoming government spending more in his first term than just about any other politician.
OpenTheBooks.com has been for three years trying to shed light on where the spending in Wyoming is centered. They’ve done great work in providing sunlight to make spending more readily available to Wyoming citizens. You can check out the salaries of Wyoming state employees as part of their work.
For several years they have been trying to get the Wyoming Department of Education to make the salaries of all Wyoming educators available to the public. They ran into lots of problems with several of the forty-eight school districts in Wyoming.
Rockstar Senator James stepped in and requested the compiled salary list from the Superintendant of Public Instruction. Once assembled, OpenTheBooks.com was able to file a Freedom of Information request for the same report. The information is now available to the general public on OpenTheBooks.com.
You can check a full article full of lots of interesting tidbits on Forbes.com.
Kudos to Senator James for stepping up and getting the information citizens need to know to make informed voting decisions.
There are only three questions that remain to be answered:
- Why was it so difficult to get information that should be published every year for every citizen to see?
- Do we really need to be spending over $1 billion each year on in education salaries alone?
- When will Wyoming taxpayers benefit from restructuring and consolidation of school districts?