North Dakota’s Grand Forks Public School District Increases Public Trust with OpenGov Online Budget Book

For years, the Grand Forks (ND) Public School District released budget information in a slow trickle, which caused public distrust. With a referendum on the line, officials needed a transparent online budget book, so they partnered with OpenGov, the leader in modern cloud software for our cities and school districts.

The Grand Forks and Grand Forks Air Force Base Public School Districts, in a unique collaboration, serve about 7,400 students and employ 1,600 people. The District had not published a budget book for years, and instead provided financial data in board meeting notes. The lack of transparency created distrust in the community. So, when District officials recognized the need for a new middle school, they knew they had to do something to build taxpayers’ confidence in their fiscal abilities. The school could not be built without the community’s approval of a $55 million referendum—a referendum that had been postponed once due to concerns it would not be approved. The answer, leaders believed, was in publishing an online budget book that would help communicate the District’s goals for the referendum using OpenGov Budgeting & Planning.

 With OpenGov Budgeting & Planning, District staff will be able to easily and quickly create an online budget book that will provide a single source of budget truth. Rather than maintaining multiple versions of the budget or manually merging changes into one version, staff will be able to iterate and collaborate within one document, which will reduce errors and cut development time in half. Best of all, the interactive budget book will provide the community with greater visibility into how tax dollars are spent. District leaders will be able to use the book’s dynamic data visualizations and easy-to-understand narrative to tell the story of why the new middle school is needed.

The Grand Forks Public School District joins more than 1,600 public sector organizations leveraging OpenGov to revolutionize work processes with cloud-based software designed specifically for the needs of government. 

About OpenGov

OpenGov is the leader in modern cloud software for our nation’s cities, counties, and state agencies. With a mission to power more effective and accountable government, OpenGov serves more than 1,600 agencies across the U.S. and is built exclusively for the unique budgeting, procurement, asset management, and citizen services needs of the public sector. The OpenGov Cloud makes organizations more collaborative and efficient and enables best-in-class communication with stakeholders and community.

Published: November 16, 2022