Kansas legislative Democrats on Monday launched their own online survey on schools to counter a new website by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration.
Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley and House Minority Leader Paul Davis said their site will gather suggestions for finding school spending efficiencies — like the governor’s — but will also collect success stories of how schools are operating.
Davis, a Lawrence Democrat, said the purpose is to allow the public to not only offer suggestions for finding efficiencies but to show support for Kansas school districts and how they operate.
“The debate over school funding is about our children and a fundamental Kansas value, not just a line item on a budget,” Davis said.
Brownback announced his school efficiency task force in September. The task force has a website that accepts anonymous tips and comments from the public about school spending.
Hensley, a Topeka Democrat, said identifying and eliminating waste in government is a good exercise. But he said the assumption shouldn’t be that the state’s 286 school districts aren’t being as efficient as they can be.
“His website seems like nothing more than a forum to demonize educators,” said Hensley, who is a teacher.
The governor has said that it is prudent to review school spending, which he said had increased more than $1 billion since 2000.
“Moving forward, we owe it to Kansas taxpayers to ensure those resources are used as efficiently and effectively as possible,” Brownback said.
Secretary of Administration Dennis Taylor announced last week that the Office of the Repealer will accept, on a separate website, anonymous reports of potential waste, fraud and abuse throughout state government.