To the editor:
The headline at the top of the Aug. 29 Lawrence and State section of your paper was eye-catching: "Outside opinion to influence school finances." Upon reading the article, however, it was apparent that the headline was misleading at best and inflammatory at worst.
The outsiders in question happen to be two of the nation's top experts on school finance, both of whom have written about Kansas before. Given this, it is most curious that Journal-World editors chose to emphasize the fact that these experts happen to live in another part of the country. Do they want to suggest that only native Kansans should have anything to say about this complicated and contentious issue?
The experts in question, Duncombe and Yinger, may well know more about school finance than anyone else in the state and more than the Denver firm previously contracted on the issue (also an "outside opinion"?). Additionally, Duncombe and Yinger have been hired to conduct a study, not give an "opinion."
Lord knows the "insiders" need help. It would seem praiseworthy for the state to contract with leading national experts, but the Journal-World focus on proximity smacks of parochialism, or perhaps an effort to discredit Duncombe and Yinger before they even start. It also contradicts the adage invoked in an editorial in the very same section of the Aug. 29 paper, "sometimes a fresh set of eyes can provide a new perspective on our home state."
John L. Rury,