USD 259, the Wichita public school district, makes its monthly checkbook register available. I’ve gathered the monthly spreadsheets for the last three fiscal years and made it available for analysis through Tableau Public.
The workbook (click here to open it in a new window) has a number of tabs, each showing the same data organized and summarized in a different way.
There are some caveats. First, not all school district spending is in this database. For each year, the total of the checks is in the neighborhood of $350 million, while the total spending for USD 259 is over $600 million. So there’s spending that isn’t included in this checkbook data.
Second, there are suppliers such as “Commerce Bank Visa BusinessCard.” Payments made to this supplier are over $7 million per year. These payments from the district’s checkbook undoubtedly pay a credit card bill, and this alone doesn’t let us know what the $7 million was spent on.
There are some data quality issues, as seen nearby.
USD 259 supplies this advice with this data: “The information you find may cause you to ask more questions. If so, the person to contact is Wichita Public School’s Controller, Barbara Phillips. She can be reached at (316) 973-4628, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Check on the huge amount in reserve accounts that is there on each and every day. This is taxpayer money collected, and unspent. This money was supposed to have been used for operations, not to build up reserves.