Opinion Columns & Blogs

Governor’s Office still trying to blame schools, media

Melika Willoughby apparently is paid to be derisive – and with public tax dollars, no less. Gov. Sam Brownback’s deputy director of communications mocked “ever-litigating” school districts and the media in a newsletter e-mailed last week. She called criticisms of school-funding levels “flimsy” and “easily refuted” – even though the state has lost every school-funding lawsuit. In a newsletter last month, she accused editorial boards and union leaders of engaging in “bombastic talk” about school funding. Earlier in the summer, she claimed that Kansas City, Kan., school district complaints about funding were the latest example of “misinformation and hyperbole” – even though the district’s information was accurate. In another newsletter, she criticized media outlets for coverage of Brownback’s decision to trim school districts’ funding by about $28 million statewide. – Phillip Brownlee