Public Money, Public Disclosure

If you take public money, you should disclose your finances. That’s the proposition that the Topeka Capital-Journal used in its battle with the group Schools for Fair Funding. The group spent $3.2 million in tax money to lobby for more state funding for schools. Their activities certainly bore fruit, with the state’s supreme court ruling in their favor, and the legislature appropriating an extra $831 million over four years.

Finally, the group has come to terms with the newspaper:

The Capital-Journal filed suit last year to determine whether Schools for Fair Funding is a public entity subject to the Kansas Open Records Act, given that it is financed with tax dollars.

Under the settlement, approved by Butler County District David Ricke last week, Schools for Fair Funding effectively agreed to provide the newspaper a “clean” set of its business documents.

[snip]

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, and House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, praised the settlement’s significance.

“It’s a reasonable outcome,” Hensley said. “I, for one, always believed they were a public entity. The newspaper was right.”

Source: School finance group settles open records lawsuit, Kansas City Star, March 6.

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