More Kansas spending data online

Kansas Policy Institute has added more data to KansasOpenGov, its government transparency portal.

The newest data is from Kansas school districts, according to KPI’s press release.

KPI highlighted some noteworthy expenses, such as $7,148.53 on retirement clocks by the Andover school district, $232,894.00 in early retirement incentives by the Haysville school district, $24,755.47 at a Holiday Inn in San Clemente by the Topeka school district, and $2,616.60 to a Hyatt Hotel in Boston by the Coffeyville school district.

The data at KansasOpenGov is particularly welcome as it can be downloaded as csv or Excel files, which means it can be analyzed, sorted, printed, and archived in various ways. Some governmental agencies provide this data only in pdf files, which are difficult to convert to a format that can be analyzed.

While it’s good that school districts are releasing their expenditure data, there are still some transparency roadblocks. For example, in August the Wichita school district made a payment to “Commerce Bank Visa Businesscard” in the amount of $903,725.68, described as being for “Supplies.” That’s a lot of money spent under a vague and generic description.


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