Thursday, November 16, 2006


Exit Stage Right

The right-wing mafia that's been running the Kansas school board for the past two years won't be running things after January when a new moderate majority is sworn in, but that doesn't mean they can't still do a lot of damage to public education in the time that's left to them.

After staying mostly quiet in the run up to the November 7 election, right-wingers on the board are now back at it. They voted Tuesday to approve a $42,000 grant to to the Kansas Association of Public Charter Schools led by Betty Horton, who the Lawrence Journal World describes as "a controversial advocate for charter schools."

Last September, Horton and some of her family members and associates were awarded grants of $1,995 from the Kansas Department of Education to provide "technical assistance" to organizations wanting to start charter schools.

“I’ve never seen a check being issued without services being rendered,” moderate board member Janet Waugh said after voting against the latest grant.

Right-wingers who voted for the bill include Steve Abrams, John Bacon, Ken Willard, Connie Morris, Iris Van Meter, and Kathy Martin. All presented themselves to the voters as fiscal conservatives who would rein in school spending if elected.

Instead, they've treated the taxpayer's money as if it were their own. In addition to funding right-wing lobbying groups such as the Kansas Association of Public Charter Schools, individual members -- Connie Morris is a prime example -- have submitted expense reports for questionable travel.


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