So.. in the course of this I have had – repeatedly and often – the fact that “Transparent California data is not accurate” thrown out.
In the interests of disclosure, I need to let you know that I work for Transparent California – I am the researcher primarily responsible for the data you see in their K-12 education section, particularly for 2016, 2017, and the ongoing effort (as of the date of this update) to obtain 2018.
I file the public record requests, take the data we’re given by districts, and upload it to the websites, so I know a bit about how the process works.
I have no way, of course, to validate the data we’re given. I have no access to actual pay records of anyone in the District, and certainly can’t examine everyone’s W-2 to find out what they really made.
However, the data provided is presented to us as actual data from actual sources within each district’s accounting systems, and is provided under the disclosure requirements outlined in the California Public Records Act (CA Civil Code section 6253), which means providing inaccurate data would theoretically be a crime.
A copy of a Guide to the Act can be found here. Page 49 outlines these requirements.
FAQ on Transparent CA can be found here.
… and I can tell you that Transparent California is not shy about suing districts that fail to provide accurate information in a timely manner.
If you simply Google “Transparent California Lawsuit” you will come up with a long list of news articles on past efforts by TC to get districts to disclose, and the results if they don’t.
To my knowledge, they have never lost a case – the law is clear, any delays by agencies is simply because they don’t want to provide this information.
And a simple Google search for “Transparent California” will give you a long list of reporting based on TC’s investigations of pay and pension issues.
If you feel that TC’s data for you – or your district – are inaccurate in some way I would love to know that and see the data to verify it. We’d be happy to discuss that with the original district to find out why their data is inaccurate.
You can reach me at Transparent California at firstname.lastname@example.org