Monday, October 09, 2006


Moderate School Board Candidate on Fiscal Conservatism

The so-called fiscal conservatives on the Kansas school board seem to be operating under a double standard. When schools need money for education, the board piously tells them to look for cost savings in their districts, but when the board wants to do something, no dollar figure is too high -- just ask Connie Morris' travel agent.

Now, moderate candidate Don Weiss, who is running against right-wing hypocrite John Bacon in the 3rd District, is asking tough questions about more board spending on one of its pet projects -- charter schools. Bacon, you will remember, likes to talk up fiscal conservatism while using taxpayer money to get away from it all in a fundamentalist setting.

"The board recently gave away almost $40,000 in a series of checks for $1,995 to virtually anyone who lined up and said they wanted to start a charter school," says Weiss. "What controls were on this money? Did it matter if two of the checks went to Alpharetta, GA? What is Kansas going to get for their money? I'd like to know."

Voter disgust with the right-wingers on the school board cost Connie Morris her job in the primary. Voters in the 9th District who were burned once by Iris Van Meter refused to put their hands on the stove again and declined to elect her son-in-law, Brad Patzer, the drive-by candidate from the Republic of Idaho to replace her.

Moderates will have a majority on the board come January. The election of two more moderates, Don Weiss and Jack Wempe, will ensure that the board stays on track and gets some work done -- such as dealing with declining test scores in some districts -- over the long haul.

To do sustained work on the state's schools, the board has to stay focused. It can't keep popping through the rabbit hole into Wonderland every couple of years with the election of nutty right-wingers. Electing Weiss and Wempe will ensure the board keeps its feet planted firmly on the ground for years to come.


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