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School propaganda: Transparency is a must

In Goffstown, the school district is distributing hundreds of copies of a six-page color brochure touting the district's position that an upcoming $14.5 million school construction bond would benefit public education. The brochure, though, is silent about one important point: Who paid for it.

It was funded by Harvey Construction of Bedford, the contractor hired to do the work if voters approve the borrowing in March. It ought to be obvious to the school board, the administrators and the executives of Harvey Construction that having the company that will benefit from a government spending initiative anonymously propagandizing the public on behalf of that initiative is unseemly and troubling.

Whenever the government is involved in publishing or distributing materials to promote the government's position, those materials should state clearly whose views are presented and who paid for the materials. If the issue involves borrowing or spending, the costs of both and their impact on the tax rate should be included.

This simple bit of transparency provides the public with important information and eliminates the hint of corruption or collusion. It should be standard policy at every level of government.

Eric Church
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