Opinion Columns & Blogs

DCF quick to claim success, slow to announce error

Determining poverty rates can be complicated, as there are different ways of measuring it. Still, the Kansas Department for Children and Families should have known better than to incorrectly compare two different measurements and then send out a press release in the weeks before the election claiming that poverty in Kansas had dropped 2.3 percentage points. After the Kansas Health Institute News Service questioned the claim, DCF issued a new statement correctly reporting that Kansas’ poverty rate was essentially unchanged. But it sent the new release only to KHI and not to other news outlets that received the original incorrect release. “There was no intent to mislead anyone,” Theresa Freed, a spokeswoman for DCF, told the Topeka Capital-Journal. It just looks that way. – Phillip Brownlee