Democrats Create Own Kansas School Online Site

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP/WIBW) _ Democrats are answering the Governor's new school efficiency web site with a call of their own for school funding feedback.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley and House Minority Leader Paul Davis said Monday their site will gather suggestions for finding school spending efficiencies, like a site set up by the Governor's School Efficiency Task Force, but it will also collect success stories of how schools are operating.

The task force appointed by Brownback is studying ways to promote efficient use of state funding by schools. The task force has a website that accepts anonymous tips and comments from the public about school spending.

But state Democratic leaders and education officials said Monday they believe the task force's web site puts a negative light on the positive work schools are doing despite budget cuts.

"To imply with this task force that part of the solution to the problem the legislature created is to somehow ferret out waste, fraud and abuse in our schools - that borders on insulting," said Karen Godfrey, President of the Kansas National Education Association. "It certainly doesn't suggest the level of respect and value that our Kansans have for our schools."

The Democrats web site can be found at Comments will be presented to the legislature.

The Governor's office, though, points out that Hensley himself was quoted last week as saying the Task Force's web site process could work, so long as it verified the comments. The administration also stands by numbers it produced as a news conference several weeks ago, which they say show school funding was only cut under the prior administrations of Democratic Governors Kathleen Sebelius and Mark Parkinson.

Secretary of Administration Dennis Taylor announced last week that the Office of the Repealer will accept anonymous reports of potential waste, fraud and abuse throughout state government on a separate website.