School District awarded A+ for website transparency

Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to government transparency, released the winners of the “Third Annual Sunny Awards” and among the winners was the St Johns County School District, awarded an A+

The website is one of 6,000 school district, state and county government sites that were graded. The award, which honors the most transparent government websites in the nation, went to 214 government entities.

County Administrator Michael D. Wanchick commented, “I am confident the website will continue to empower citizens by providing the information necessary to keep them informed and engaged in the business of their government.”

To see the school district’s evaluation sheet:,_Florida

To see the county’s evaluation sheet:,_Florida

For the 2012 awards, editors at Sunshine Review analyzed more than 6,000 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 St Johns County School District received an “A+” and St Johns County received an “A-“.

“The Sunny Award recognizes governments and school districts that are doing an exemplary job at proactively disclosing information to taxpayers,” said Michael Barnhart, President of Sunshine Review. “We would like to congratulate the St. Johns County School District and St Johns County for being champions for transparency and serving as leaders to every state and local government around the nation.”

The Sunny Awards announcement coincides with the launch of “Sunshine Week” March 11-17, a week nationally recognized by hundreds of media and civic organizations, to celebrate the efforts of activists and the strides taken towards open government.

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