Archive for Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Battle over electronic files between school district, KPI resolved

September 11, 2012


The Lawrence school district has decided to provide Excel computer files requested by the Kansas Policy Institute.

KPI, which criticizes school funding, had filed a complaint with the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, alleging that the school district failed to comply with KPI’s Kansas Open Records Act request because the school district provided the group the requested files in a the PDF format, not the Excel format.

KPI said the PDF format was more cumbersome. The school district said there was no state requirement on what electronic format to provide public records.

But on Monday, the school district said it would provide KPI with Excel files. Julie Boyle, spokeswoman for the district, said, “While Kansas statutes do not stipulate a specific electronic file format in which public records must be provided, the district does not wish to waste taxpayer funds or the district attorney’s time on a complaint we believe has no merit.”

KPI President Dave Trabert said: “We are happy that USD 497 decided to fully comply with KORA and release the same data they released last year. It should not take a formal complaint with the district attorney for a government agency to release data on how public dollars are being spent.”


Benjamin Roberts 5 years, 9 months ago

"... the district does not wish to waste taxpayer funds or the district attorney’s time on a complaint we believe has no merit.”

Yet, the district wasted the time and money to convert the original Excel format files into PDF format for no legitimate reason.

Jackie Jackasserson 5 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps in order to prevent the recieving agency from altering them and then redistributing.

Sharon Nottingham 5 years, 9 months ago

PDFs cannot be altered if they are signed and certified.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

Now KPI can easily construct their versions of the 'data.'. Wanna bet they think Lawrence spends too much?

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 9 months ago

It takes more time to type out a comment than it takes to "format" a .pdf file.

And .pdf files are the far safer choice, as they cannot be easily manipulated.

Note Trabert's lie in his comment.

Dave Trabert 5 years, 9 months ago

We have posted government data on for nearly three years...hundreds of thousands of records. Not once has any government entity accused us of manipulating or constructing our own 'versions of the data.'

To the contrary, Kansas Legislative Research and Kansas Department of Education have confirmed that the data is accurate on more than one occasion.

It's easy to format some PDF files, but not all. That may be why the Attorney General issued a 2009 directive that information be provided in the requested format as long the government entity has the ability to do so. USD 497 may not agree with us philosophically but that is no excuse to not follow the State Attorney General's directive.

Payroll data for USD 497 shows some large increases for several administrators last year and is available at Checkbook data will be posted shortly.

cowboy 5 years, 9 months ago

Dave , Were still waiting for the disclosure of your salary , operating budget , expenditures , contributions , donor listings. We'd take them in any format you prefer. No problemo se habla Espanol if you like.

Were waiting Dave

Still waiting Dave

cowboy 5 years, 9 months ago



Were still waiting Dave , Excel , Word , PDF , crayon , whatever works for you

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

I guess you were too busy nitpicking about file formats to get back to me on how your feel-good ALEC voucher legislation gives special needs kids fewer legal protections and rights.

progressive_thinker 5 years, 9 months ago

One more time Dave, the AG's office did not issue a directive and has no authority to issue a directive. The document that you refer to is their opinion only, and is always subject to further clarification. The statute does not require the release of documents in any specific format. The PDF transmission of data in .csv format is pretty much universal.

It appears that the problem with this issue rests with KPI staff lacking skills and or motivation to use the data that was provided in a universal format. .

This is just an example of KPI attempting to bully local units of government into doing special work on behalf of KPI in support of the KPI anti education agenda.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 9 months ago

Yes, Dave, I'd be interested to learn more about who is paying you (and who you are beholden to) and your operating budget.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

Come on, Dave, admit it. You're glad that the school district gave you the opening to whine about the format of these documents. Because your only real goal in any of this is to destroy public education, and any sort of dirt you can kick up, no matter how trivial, advances that goal.

Alceste 5 years, 9 months ago

The release of these records certainly reveals USD 497 has some very well paid people who do very little. Alceste stopped reviewing the records after page 10 when the income had not gone below $65,000.00 per annum. Incredible. Part time jobs grossing over $60k per year?

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

Alceste is convinced that all teachers only work part time. After all, school hours are the only time a teacher works. The rest of the time spent grading, planning, taking continuing ed classes, or doing administrative tasks is not actually work dontchaknow.

situveux1 5 years, 9 months ago

Scott, why didn't you ask the school district why they changed the excel files to pdf in the first place? Seems like a very logical question one would ask the district.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

I doubt they changed an Excel file to a PDF. The information requested probably came from a database of some sort, so it could be output in multiple formats. It may have been easier to output a PDF. They may have had concerns about data integrity, it may have been a new person handling the request this year, or they may have just wanted to thumb their nose at Trabert's anti education agenda.

situveux1 5 years, 9 months ago

Exactly, could be a lot of things... and one will never know because a reporter didn't ask/report.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.