Lynn Rogers

A look at a David Dennis campaign finance report

A look at a David Dennis campaign finance report

It's interesting to look at campaign finance reports. Following, a few highlights on a report from the David Dennis campaign. He's a candidate for Sedgwick County Commission in the August Republican Party primary election. The report was filed July 25, 2016, covering the period from January 1, 2016 through July 21, 2016. These reports are available online at the Sedgwick County Election Office website. Keith Stevens, $200 A longtime Democrat community activist, always on the side of higher taxes and more government spending. Suzanne F. Ahlstrand, $250 Gary & Cathy Schmitt, $100 Jon E. Rosell, $100 Charlie Chandler, Maria Chandler,…
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Northwest High prank, some underlying facts

Northwest High prank, some underlying facts

Instead of pranking, Wichita public school students and their leaders might consider a few facts. KSN News reported on an April Fools' Day prank at Northwest High School in Kansas. The message is that the school is short of funds. The KSN news story reported: "Wendy Johnson, the Director of Marketing and Communications for Wichita Public Schools also said, 'This appears to be someone’s effort at a humorous April Fool’s commentary on the funding crisis that public education is facing in Kansas.'" Also: "USD 259 Board of Education member Lynn Rogers called the prank, 'very ingenious.' Rogers says there was…
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More parents unhappy with treatment by the Wichita school board

KAKE Television reports on Wichita parents who are not happy with treatment by the school board, writing "Parents associated with Hyde tell KAKE News it's not the decision that's leaving a bad taste in their mouth. They're unhappy with how the Wichita Board of Education treated them during the process." Wichita Eagle reporting on this matter is at Wichita school board votes to transfer two teachers from Hyde Elementary. A contributor to the newspaper's Opinion Line wrote: "While I’m disappointed in the decision by the Wichita school board, I am simply stunned at the lack of respect Lynn Rogers afforded…
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Reaction to Kansas school lawsuit decision

Following are several reactions to the decision in Gannon vs. Kansas, the school funding lawsuit. The court ruled the state must spend more on schools. An important observation on the true size of the court-ordered tax increase was offered by Kansas Policy Institute: "Today's mandate of a $654 Base State Aid Per-Pupil (BSAPP) increase forces the state to raise annual spending and taxes by $440 million and, because of the way the Local Option Budget is written, local property taxes will automatically increase by $154 million. In total, the Shawnee District Court would take an additional $594 million out of…
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Open records again an issue in Kansas

Responses to records requests made by Kansas Policy Institute are bringing attention to shortcomings in the Kansas Open Records Act. Those who have made records requests in Kansas are probably not surprised that KPI has had difficulty in having its records requests respected and filled. In 2007 Better Government Association and National Freedom of Information Coalition gave Kansas a letter grade of "F" for its open records law. Last year State Integrity Investigation looked at the states, and Kansas did not rank well there, either. See Kansas rates low in access to records. This week KPI president Dave Trabert appeared…
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Wichita school district discusses unspent fund balances

Last week the board of USD 259, the Wichita public school district provided another example of the attitude of the board towards those who have opinions that are not aligned with the policies of the district and public school spending advocates. In this example it was Dave Trabert who appeared to speak to the board. Trabert is president of Kansas Policy Institute. His purpose was to present to the board some options the district has, based on a new state law, for managing its finances so that it could proceed without laying off teachers or eliminating programs. Board president Connie…
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Wichita school fund balances again an issue

The issue of school fund balances in Wichita and Kansas is a serious issue that deserves discussion. At the same time, we need to make sure we don't lose sight of Kansas school issues that are even more important. But school officials need to be held accountable for their deception of the public, most notably through straw man arguments. When Dr. Walt Chappell, an elected member of the Kansas State Board of Education, used a slot on the public agenda to address the board of USD 259, the Wichita public school district, his shabby treatment by the board was one…
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Wichita school board: critics not welcome

A recent meeting of the board of USD 259, the Wichita public school district, provided insight as to the insularity of the board members and district staff, and as to how little meaningful discussion or debate takes place at board meetings. At the June 20th meeting, Dr. Walt Chappell, an elected member of the Kansas State Board of Education, used a slot on the public agenda to address the board about the upcoming budget. Chappell received a chilly reception -- to say the least -- from board president Connie Dietz. Chappell has been outspoken in his criticism of the way…
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Wichita school district makes transparency effort

Recently USD 259, the Wichita public school district, placed five month's of checkbook register data on its website. This is a good move, and we should thank the district for doing this. But we need to remember that the Wichita school district is very late in making this transparency effort, and the district's past attitudes towards citizens needs to be remembered. In the past, the district has made this checkbook information available each month. It was made available as a pdf document, which is not nearly as useful as an Excel spreadsheet, which is the format of the most recent…
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Kansas school spending lobby impossible to satisfy

A new report by the Kansas Policy Institute provides some insight into the voracious appetite of the Kansas school spending lobby for taxpayer dollars: There's never enough. In A Kansas Primer on Education Funding, Volume III: Analysis of K-12 Spending in Kansas this story is told: So the rumors of school funding wars persist, with legislators and taxpayers asking "how much is enough?" and schools pressing for more money with no real end in sight. Speaker Pro Tem Arlen Siegfreid (R-Olathe) shared with me a conversation he had with Mark Tallman, Assistant Executive Director/Advocacy for the Kansas Association of School…
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On Wichita school board, are only supporters’ opinions welcome?

At this week's meeting of the Wichita school district board, member Lynn Rogers criticized the Wichita Eagle for printing a story that include criticism by an opponent from the 2008 bond issue campaign without disclosing his involvement in that campaign. At issue is a land sale. Rogers said: "It also bothered me that the person who was identified that did have the courage to give their name -- which I admire -- it's somebody that they didn't identify as someone that was not in favor of the bond issue in the 2008 campaign and actually spoke often against it and…
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Wichita school expulsions: the numbers

Recently a comment was left on this blog claiming that children in the Catholic school system who are problems are kicked out and end up in the public school systems. The writer didn't make any claim as to the magnitude of the number of students, but readers are led to conclude that it's enough to be a problem for the public schools. Last year Wichita school board president Lynn Rogers made a similar claim, stating "I know there are kids from many Catholic schools that have come to public schools when the Catholic schools have kicked them out." So what's…
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Kansas open records examined

Here's another outstanding investigative report by Paul Soutar of the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy. I have experienced some of the same obstacles that Soutar has encountered. Last year Wichita school district board member Lynn Rogers told me that record requests are a burden. Interim superintendent Martin Libhart's attitude was similarly hostile towards legitimate citizen requests for records. Indications are that new board president Barb Fuller and new superintendent John Allison have a better attitude towards records requests, and I hope that time proves this to be the case. The spirit is willing but the law is weak Paul…
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Wichita school informational forums could help increase understanding

At Monday's meeting of the board of USD 259, the Wichita public school district, board president Lynn Rogers said he wants to have a discussion about ending balances, in particular unencumbered funds. He said there is misunderstanding in the community, during the bond issue campaign last year, and now with a state school board member. He added that he wants to communicate the meaning of this to the public. Rogers didn't mention the state school board member by name, but I think I can guess who he's referring to. You can view the member's less-than-cordial treatment at a recent Wichita…
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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…
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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…
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Dr. Chappell asks the Wichita school board to NOT sell bonds

After seeing the way several members of the board of USD 259, the Wichita public school district, treated Kansas State Board of Education member Walt Chappell at last Monday's meeting, I contacted him. I was curious as to what his rebuttal would be to the scolding he received from board members Connie Dietz and Betty Arnold. Board president Lynn Rogers was gentler, but no less contemptuous. See the post Wichita school board video shows why members should not be re-elected for more coverage of this, including video. You can read the agenda for this meeting by clicking on Board of…
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Wichita school board video shows why members should not be re-elected

On Monday March 30, 2009, Walt Chappell, who was recently elected to the Kansas State Board of Education and whose district overlaps some of USD 259, the Wichita public school district, spoke before that district's board. The hostile reaction by board members, which you may view on video that I captured, is remarkable for the insight it gives us into the board and its members. Wichitans should have no confidence in the governing ability of this board, whether they have children in Wichita schools or not. Chappell has a lot of experience and understanding of education issues in Kansas. His…
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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…
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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…
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