Archive for Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Legislator blasts lobbyists for Kansas school boards

February 27, 2002

A state legislator took aim on Saturday at the Kansas Association of School Boards.

"They are adversarial and they go out half-cocked with information," Wilk said. "I am telling you, they beat you to death it is very adversarial," said Rep. Ken Wilk, R-Lansing, who is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Wilk, who spoke to a dozen people who attended a legislative coffee in Tonganoxie, said he thought the KASB should alter its tactics.

"Their approach to the Legislature over the last two to three years has changed significantly," Wilk said. "It's to the point where I believe they are as much a part of the problem as any entity in the state."

Wilk asked the two school representatives who attended the coffee Superintendent Richard Erickson and board member Rick Lamb if they were comfortable with the KASB's tactics.

Lamb, who recently spent a day at the Legislature, said he agreed with Wilk.

"You want somebody to be a strong advocate for what they believe in," Lamb said. "But I will agree I feel sometimes it's too adversarial. I'm a minister and I give sermons, and one of their main lobbyists gave a real good sermon but it was hellfire and damnation on the lack of funding."

Wilk said the KASB's stubbornness is preventing negotiations.

"They want $600 million and, literally, if you don't want to talk about $600 million, they don't want to talk to you."

Wilk said schools should do something about the KASB, and added: "See if you can't rein those guys back in."

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