EDITORIAL: To publish or not

Last week we received from the USD 410 central office a list of all contracted employees and their salaries. An accompanying letter stated the submission was in response to Senate Bill 82, which was passed during the 2003 legislative session. The bill calls for each district to submit to a newspaper of general circulation within the district a list of administrators and how much they’re paid.

The letter and list touched off an interesting debate in our office: Should we publish the information? Our first thought was, yes, public-school salaries are public information. We know of several newspapers who routinely publish such lists.

The more we thought about it, the more we vacilated until we asked ourselves: If we did not think it was vital to publish such information before, why would it be vital now? And why single out school employees and not all public servants?

For now, we’ve decided not to publish the list. But if patrons feel they need to know the information, they can request a copy from the central office themselves. They do have that right. -DR

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