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Battle of Websites: Fairfax County Public Schools -- A; Arlington County Public Schools -- B+

The budget and financial services webpages of both the Arlington Public Schools (APS) and the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) websites both contain useful information for anyone looking to examine the cost of each school district's operations, e.g., annual budgets, capital budgets, etc. However, the Fairfax webpages contain one significant difference. School staff in Arlington do an exemplary job in answering questions of School Board members, even providing extra copies at each budget worksession for citizens who attend the meetings. APS staff also answer questions, in the same format, for the county's Civic Federation's schools committee. However, the Fairfax schools go one important step further. The FCPS post all questions (at least 83 when we looked), raised by school board members, members of the county's board of supervisors, citizens, and even questions from civic associations during development of the FY2006 adopted budget. Staffs of both school districts deserve credit for the financial data at their websites, but this Growler thinks the FCPS staff deserve kudos for posting those questions and responses with the other budget data. Such transparency aids accountability.