Submitted by Shane Mauldin, McKinney ISD
McKinney ISD is one of only seven school districts in Texas to receive a 2013 Sunny Award from Sunshine Review for outstanding online transparency — and the only school district in Texas to receive an “A+” rating from the organization this year. This marks the third consecutive year that McKinney ISD has received a Sunny Award and a top rating.
The recognition highlights McKinney ISD’s ongoing commitment to transparency and clear communication with the community.
“Since McKinney ISD is a tax-supported institution, it is imperative that we provide taxpayers with all information possible,” said Dr. Edd Bigbee, McKinney ISD Chief Financial Officer.
“It is not only prudent management, but it also allows for a high degree of scrutiny of district fiscal practices,” he said.
Cody Cunningham, McKinney ISD Chief Communications Officer said, “We work hard to be as transparent as possible, and we have invested resources to ensure that we have timely and comprehensive information posted on our website. We recognize there is always room for improvement and we look forward to continuing to publish important information related to the district’s finances, policies, programs and schools.”
Sunshine Review is a nonprofit organization dedicated to state and local government transparency that collaborates with individuals and organizations throughout America in the cause of an informed citizenry and a transparent government. Since its inception in 2008, Sunshine Review has analyzed the websites of all 50 states and more than 7,000 state and local entities.
For the 2013 awards, editors at Sunshine Review analyzed more than 1,000 qualifying government websites and graded each on a 10-point transparency checklist. Editors looked at content available on government websites against what should be provided. They sought information on items such as budgets, meetings, lobbying, financial audits, contracts, academic performance, public records and taxes. The winners of the Sunny Award all received an “A” grade during the extensive grading process.
“The Sunny Awards recognize governments that make transparency a priority. The winners of the Sunny Awards are cities, counties and school districts that proactively share the public information that empowers citizens and keeps government accountable to the people,” said Michael Barnhart, President of Sunshine Review. “We would like to congratulate McKinney ISD for being a champion for transparency and serving as a leader to every state and local government around the nation.”
“We are excited about the award and top rating because Sunshine Review is an outside entity determining that we are open with the public and willing to have our financial information inspected by anyone who chooses,” said Bigbee.
“The award is nice, but continuing to hold the public’s trust is the true reward,” he said.