Wichita Business Journal: Please Explain the Wichita School Bond Impact

In an article in the June 27, 2008 Wichita Business Journal (Passage of 2000 school bond issue highlights Brooks’ legacy in Wichita), reporter Josh Funk makes another error. (The first error is explained in Wichita Business Journal: Where is the Increasing Enrollment in Wichita Schools?)

In this case, Mr. Heck claims, in his tribute to departing USD 259 (Wichita public school district) superintendent Winston Brooks, that “He leaves Wichita before resolution of a $350 million bond issue, but his legacy as superintendent will be the passage of another bond issue — this one for $284.5 million — eight years ago that bailed out a city from a depressed post-9/11 economy while making necessary improvements to the school district.”

Mr. Heck must be relying on reporting from his own newspaper, for a few months ago it printed the article “Brooks: Bond issue possible in spring” (December 28, 2007 Wichita Business Journal) in which Brooks and Joe Johnson, head of the school district’s architectural firm Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture say that the bond issue in 2000 did, indeed, save Wichita.

This is nonsense of the highest order. Government spending cannot create prosperity. Borrowing against future tax revenue only compounds the problem. See Wichita School Bond Issue Economic Fallacy.

The Wichita Eagle let its guest columnist make the same mistake when Wichita school board member Lynn Rogers tried to make the case that the 2000 bond issue was an economic benefit to Wichita. See Wichita School Bond Issue Impact Is an Illusion for discussion.

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