Yesterday I highlighted an investigative story from the Flint Hills Center on just how much money schools are sitting on at the same time they come to legislators and ask for more. The report was also discussed by Kansas Meadowlark, Wichita Liberty and Kansas Liberty. No other news outlet in the state has discussed where taxpayer money is being spent (or not spent) on education.
And it's not at all surprising. It's hard to say there isn't a bias in the media when they ignore well researched, thoughtful investigative journalism such as what the Flint Hills Center published yesterday. For all the talk of the death of investigative journalism, I'm beginning to believe more and more that "investigative journalism" has been dead a long time already. Newspapers like the Wichita Eagle and Kansas City Star are only interested in journalism if it involves shoving a camera in someone's face or embarrassing someone they don't like.
It's been speculated that with the financial trouble the newspaper industry finds itself in that someday soon they may be replaced with not-for-profit papers or independent investigative reporters. That's basically what was done at the Flint Hills Center. However if the newspaper industry will simply continue on the same path it's been on for the past who knows how many decades, there's little point in making our free press financially free as well. Quite honestly, unless these new founded "non-profit" papers are interested in doing hard hitting journalism, I'd rather see them just go bankrupt.
And the silence doesn't even make sense. As I read the report schools themselves are not a fault. It's a bad system set up by Topeka that has encourage financial behavior on the part of districts that's cause the rat-holing of such large sums of cash. Don't districts want to have access to that money? Don't districts want the flexibility to spend that money as they wish? Or are they so hungry for more tax dollars that they're willing to ignore $1.36 billion just sitting on the table?