Tag: Lanora Nolan

Education

When informed, attitudes toward public school spending change

One of the problems with forming public policy is the lack of information possessed by the general public, and, sometimes, even by elected officials. A recent research report published by the Hoover Institution titled Educating the Public measures the problem. Importantly, this report shows the changes in people's attitudes after they receive correct information. I've experienced the lack of information about basic facts myself. Last year a colleague and I conducted some "man-on-the-street" interviews during the bond issue campaign. Very few people knew how much the Wichita school district spent. Most estimated levels of spending less than half of actual spending. It's not just the public. Elected officials like Rep. Melody McCray-Miller and Wichita school board member Lanora No...
Wichita and Kansas schools

Wichita BOE’s Nolan expresses concern

At Monday's meeting of the board of USD 259, the Wichita public school district, board members expressed frustration over the mishandling of a construction contract. It's not clear where fault lies, or whether the board has any interest in finding where that fault should be laid. At the meeting, board member Lanora Nolan expressed dismay that none of the public speakers mentioned the kids. The school district has a larger responsibility than just the education of children, however. It needs to be responsible to taxpayers -- the "adult issues" Nolan bemoans. She also said the delay of the fields is not in the best interest of kids. I hope she looks into who is responsible for this mishandling of this process. She wants to "get the legal boundaries changed" so that the board is nev...
Wichita and Kansas schools

Wichita school district turf vendor selection process unlawful, board members told

At last night's meeting of the board of USD 259, the Wichita public school district, citizens learned that the process used to select the vendor for artificial athletic fields was flawed and violated Kansas law. The district will start over, almost from the beginning, and use a competitive bidding process to select the firm to install the fields at five high schools. The result is that the fields will not be available for the coming football season. Interim Superintendent Martin Libhart announced that a hearing committee had been working all day, and that its recommendation was to reject and revoke the award of bid to Hellas Construction, and the the project should be put out for competitive bid. During time for citizen comment, speakers mentioned that the board promised that the bo...
Politics

Wichita election results equal status quo, worse

The result of yesterday's elections in Wichita is an endorsement for the status quo. For those interested in liberty, free markets, and education in Wichita, the election was a total disaster. On the Wichita city council, the two incumbents running for re-election won. For the open seat, Janet Miller won. While her website talks of fiscal responsibility, it's a safe bet that Miller is on the side of increasing the size, scope, and intrusiveness of city government. The election of Miller doesn't signal a huge shift on the council, as Sharon Fearey, her predecessor, favored an expansionary city government. For the board of USD 259, the Wichita public school district, all four incumbents won. This is terrible news for Wichita schoolchildren and taxpayers. As outlined in my post Wic...
Wichita and Kansas schools

Wichita school board members should not be re-elected

Next Tuesday, four members of the board of USD 259, the Wichita public school district, seek to be elected again to their current posts. These members -- Lanora Nolan, Lynn Rogers, Connie Dietz and Betty Arnold -- are part of a board and school district that is increasingly out-of-step with education reforms that are working in other parts of the country. Their policies and actions are harmful to both Wichita schoolchildren and Wichita taxpayers. At the time when most of the country is starting to realize that quality teachers, not the number of teachers, is what makes the biggest difference in student outcomes, the Wichita school district is going the wrong way. The bond issue, with its focus on reducing class size, will force the district to hire more teachers. This makes it more l...
Wichita and Kansas schools

Wichita school board of education campaign contributions

Recent campaign finance reports filed by candidates for the board of USD 259, the Wichita public school district, show some contributions that may be of interest to Wichita voters. I've compiled a table of some of the contributions. This table is not comprehensive. It includes only the three incumbent candidates that have challengers: Lanora Nolan, Lynn Rogers, and Connie Dietz. Joe Johnson, head of Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture, the firm that the Wichita school district selected without any competitive bidding to manage the implementation of the bond issue and the largest contributor to the bond issue campaign from last year, says "thank you" to several candidates. But it's rather tepid, to say the least, as he could have contributed $500. And what didn't Lanora Nolan do t...
Wichita and Kansas schools

Barb Fuller: Feds should pay, and leave us alone

In an op-ed piece printed in the Wichita Eagle ("Barb Fuller: Feds should facilitate, not dictate, on education," February 20, 2009 Wichita Eagle, no longer available online), Wichita school board vice president Barb Fuller makes, indirectly, the case that the U.S. Federal government should fund education, but keep its nose out of how local school boards spend the money. Her piece explains that USD 259, the Wichita public school district, like most school districts, are chafing under the "unfunded mandates" that the No Child Left Behind law calls for. She concludes that "Consequently, it makes sense for immediate suspension of the current NCLB sanctions." The fact is that the Wichita school district has tremendous funds at its disposal, some $13,000 per pupil per year. Board members...
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