Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wichita School Board Information Management

Despite claims that the District wants to educate the public about the bond issue and promote community involvement, some things are just too sensitive to share with the public.

On Monday, Bob Weeks made a statement to the entire Wichita School Board, including his concerns about the Districts attempts to stonewall (he put it much more diplomatically) the public on information about the district and the bond.

Specifically, Mr. Weeks discussed an open records request for the number of classrooms in USD 259. He was told that the district didn't have that information available, and it would cost nearly $900 to have someone work 40 hours (USD 259 file clerks make $21.50 an hour?) to conjure up the numbers.

Common sense would dictate that if you are claiming that your penny jars are overfull, you would need to know a) how many pennies you have, and b) how many jars you have. For a true public debate, the Wichita community should know how many students are in the district, and how many classrooms are available.

Is this information being made available? Maybe, but with some strings attached.

This exchange sums up the Wichita School Board's view of what information is suitable for public consumption.

"Without accurate and complete data, without a common set of facts to reason from, we feel the community can't have an effective dialogue," he said.

"So if you had the correct information," board member Betty Arnold asked Weeks, "then would you support the bond issue?"

Ms. Arnold clearly seems to be seeking a quid-pro-quo arrangement with information that should, under state law, be made public. If we bestow this information on you, will you be quiet?


b and r tiger said...

I know that the school board is very tight on funding right now but i believe that if the school board would consider looking into installing a wind generator at each school it would save a lot of money in utilities. They could save about 40% in utilities bills and you are also able to sell back any excess electric you do not use. I know things are tight in the school budget, but in the long run this could save a lot of money for the Wichita schools. I am also sending this to the Haysville school district for consideration.
thank you
Concern Citizen

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