Chappel said it is just another attempt to muffle his concerns about education and keep K-12 fiscal information from the public.
He objected to Tuesday’s KSBOE “consent agenda” approving more than $5.5 million with no open board deliberation.
The items included a $4.3 million contract renewal to the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas, $1.1 million in technology grants to 38 schools, $53,696 for math/science partnership grants and $54,364 for a contract with Focal Point Assessments.
After Chappell identified each item, David Dennis, KSBOE chair, asked Kansas State Department of Education staff if they had answered Chappell’s questions about the item before the meeting. Staff answered that they had, and Dennis then asked if anyone else on the board wanted to hear the answer. Each time no other board member expressed interest.
The consent agenda was approved with only Chappell voting against. Dennis adjourned the meeting Tuesday afternoon, well ahead of its scheduled conclusion midday Wednesday.
In April Dennis told KansasWatchdog, “Funding is not an issue with the State Board of Education. That’s an issue for the legislature and the governor. We don’t control how much is allocated. We don’t control who gets it. KSDE passes the money through to the districts on how much the legislature appropriates, and the governor signs. If federal money comes in they pass it through to the districts.”
The previous chair and current board member, Janet Waugh (D-Kansas City), also said fiscal issues are not the board’s concern. At the March 2010 meeting Chappel arranged for a report on $7 million in spending before the board. Waugh asked if anyone – other than Chappell – was interested in hearing it. With no one else expressing interest, she stopped the report. Later in the meeting she said, “The financial decisions are up to the legislature. We have never made recommendations on how we feel things should be cut in any area.”
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