Archive for Thursday, March 9, 2006

Letter to the Editor

March 9, 2006

To the editor:

We have been taught in school that we live in a democracy. When dealing with educational financing, let's see how the system really works.

1) Regardless of his or her political affiliation, the governor appoints the members of the State Supreme Court. 2) The governor appoints the members of the State Board of Regents. Apparently, many have been contributors to the appointer's past political campaigns. 3) The Kansas Association of School Boards is an entity that is quite prominent and quite vocal with respect to school issues. It is supported by school membership fees. (It has about five or six lawyers making good money, and I thought their primary mission was to handle legal problems.) 4) We do not vote for the Commissioner of Education. 5) The Commissioner of Education appointed the lawyer who in essence represents the taxpayer on the school financial issue. This, to me, a taxpayer, is like having the wolf watch the chicken house. 6) The lawyer representing the 50 or so students in the school funding case is apparently requesting more money from the LOB budget so he can hire more attorneys to get more money from the taxpayer. (He can't receive it from the general fund.)

Thus it appears the average citizen of Kansas has little direct voice in the operations of our educational system. So much for democracy in education. Oh, well, the taxpayer has one redeeming value. He or she can sign the 750 million dollar check and help finance about a five billion dollar educational system.

Leo Kerwin


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