Blue Valley School District Distorts Spending Facts

Dave TrabertEducation

A KSBH-TV story about the Blue Valley school district spending $130,000 in legal fees to avoid paying $23,000 for a blind student’s braille books says “Blue Valley School District’s total operating budget for the current school year is about $200 million.”  The reporter, Jessica McMaster, linked to her source on the Blue Valley web site and understandably relied on the … Read More

Kansas Budget Deficit overstated by $200 million

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

The reported $900 million, two-year Kansas budget deficit includes $192.6 million of revenue reductions that won’t occur and another $13 million that’s purely optional and needn’t occur.  Collectively, these spending items overstate the budget shortfall by $205.6 million. Each item listed in the adjacent table is considered a ‘transfer’ of revenue rather than appropriated amounts of spending because they were … Read More

Payroll Records Suggest Inefficient Spending at Kansas Turnpike Authority

adminTax & Spending

2015 payroll records from the Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA) raise questions about whether the department is serving its taxpaying consumers efficiently. For one, KTA continues to employ a bevy of highly-paid toll collectors at a time when automated tolling devices are delivering safer, cheaper, and better-flowing travel across the country. Moreover, the agency continues to commit high salaries to secondary, administrative, … Read More

James FrankoResearch, Tax & Spending

Latest in “Factbook” series exploring the relationship between the size of government and economic vitality.

Government Transparency Round Table Discussion

James FrankoUncategorized

Kansas Policy Institute Vice President James Franko discusses government transparency with Seth Etter and Bob Weeks. Etter is the organizer of Open Wichita, an initiative to bring the benefits of open data and civic hacking to Wichita. Weeks blogs at Voice for Liberty in Wichita where he advocates for government transparency and accountability and uses open records requests to access, … Read More

adminUncategorized

Patrick Parkes talks about KansasOpenGov.org, an online government data and spending transparency initiative operated by the Kansas Policy Institute. The site allows anyone to see and compare data on state and local government in Kansas. Parkes is a fiscal policy analyst with KPI

Many school districts ignore state transparency law

Dave TrabertEducation

The Kansas Uniform Financial Accounting and Reporting Act – K.S.A. 72-8254 – passed in 2013 requires every school district to publish the budget summary for the current school year and actual expenditures for the immediately preceding two school years showing total dollars net of transfers and dollars per pupil.  The statue clearly says the report “shall be published with an … Read More