September 30, 2006

Don't Ask Questions, Just Send Money

Several months ago I sent a letter to the school superintendent in each Oklahoma public school district requesting some basic information. Syndicated columnist George Will called on Monday to ask what the educrats' response rate was. I told him that, disappointingly (but not surprisingly), some two-thirds of the school districts simply chose not to send me the information I had requested. In tomorrow's column, Will writes:
The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, a think tank, asked all 539 school districts for spending details such as the number of employees making more than $75,000 a year; payments for lobbying and public relations; information as to whether competitive bidding was required for maintenance, food and transportation services; and the number of automobiles owned or reimbursed by the districts. (Many districts purchase vehicle insurance through the Oklahoma State School Boards Association, which can spend the profits it makes from this on lobbying the legislature and whose members have gone to court to keep a 65 percent requirement off this November's ballot.) Two-thirds of Oklahoma's districts have not responded.

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