Source: Education Week

The state education department told the Education Institute of Hawaii that it didn’t have the technological tools to give a line-by-line accounting for much of the $2 billion in K-12 spending, including teachers’ and administrators’ salaries. State departments of education across the country this year have been under intense pressure to open their fiscal books to the public, a technologically and politically complicated feat. Hawaii also is among several states with antiquated data systems that can’t track the thousands of transactions school districts make throughout the school year. Department officials are blaming those data systems for high-profile glitches that have occurred this year as state legislatures seek to boost teacher pay and states look to comply with a new federal requirement to break out school spending amounts. “To have any sense of empowerment, you have to have an idea of the fiscal health of the department,” said former state assistant superintendent and 2018 gubernatorial candidate Ray L’Heureux.