Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Willard Can't Make Up His Mind

An editorial in the Hutchison News says right-wing board member Ken Willard's testimony contradicts his public actions:

Ken Willard, R-Hutchinson, cannot decide whether voters should - or should not - weigh in decisions made by the Kansas Board of Education.

Consider that last week the House Education Committee debated a bill to require the board to hire an education commissioner with educational expertise.
Willard represents District 7 on the state board. He also serves as the board's liaison to the Legislature.

So he testified against the proposal, stating that citizens elect people to the state board to make decisions on their behalf. If citizens disapprove of the board's decisions, they have the power to vote the representative from their district out of office.

That sounds reasonable enough.

Yet at a meeting last fall in Hutchinson, involving members of Reno County school boards and local educators, Willard pointedly announced that he would turn a deaf ear to criticism of the state board's decisions.

Apparently, citizens only have power to influence the state board when they go to the polling station to vote, once every four years.

No wonder Kansans have called on legislators to propose ways to limit the board's


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