The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat: authorities’ handling of open meetings and records disputes yields conflicting results

In a short span of 24 hours Kentucky’s open meetings and open records laws were handed a significant victory and a serious defeat. The thrill of victory: Bluegrass Institute v. Jefferson County Board of Education The victory occurred when the Bluegrass Institute and its Center for Open Government prevailed in an open meetings appeal involving the…

How’s That???!!! Majority of Kentucky’s students are officially truants!!!!

The Kentucky Legislature’s Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee heard a report in Frankfort today about “School Attendance in Kentucky” from the Legislative Research Commission’s Office of Education Accountability. And, it didn’t take long for a real shocker to surface. As the one of the OEA’s briefing slides puts it: “The majority of Kentucky students…

A helpful hint for public officials: if the action you are contemplating contains the word “secret,” it probably violates the open meetings law

My first law school exam presented a complex hypothetical involving multiple jurisdictional challenges faced by the fictitious manufacturer of a product called “Diaper Doo” –  a product that could only come from the warped mind of a law school professor. The object was to identify as many of those jurisdictional challenges as possible and to…

About those claims that the US has high poverty

Americans are frequently assaulted with amazing claims that our country has one of the highest poverty rates in the entire developed world. We get it from sources like the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF, sometimes just the United Nations Children’s Fund), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and a host of…

How much do taxpayers really spend on education in Kentucky?

And, how does Kentucky’s education spending rank against other states? We hear it all the time. Kentucky’s educators frequently complain that they are not getting enough resources (think dollars) to do their job well. And, we’ve often heard that per pupil funding for education in Kentucky ranks low compared to what other states spend. But…

Secret Ballots: The Ultimate Affront to Open Government

There are few actions of public agency officials that more directly fly in the face of open government  than the use of the secret ballot. Surely, forty three years after the passage of the open meetings law agency officials no longer indulge the absurd belief that they are permitted to employ secret ballots in conducting…