Kansans, including governor, rally for school spending, taxes

Kansas long-term debt per person

Today in Topeka supporters of more taxes for Kansas public school spending marched from the headquarters of Kansas National Education Association (or KNEA, the teachers union), to the Kansas Capitol, where they heard from speakers including Governor Parkinson. The crowd, braving the windy and cold weather, was estimated at 1,000 by the Topeka Capital-Journal.

The theme of the rally — besides more taxes and more spending — was the chant “We want what’s right, not what’s left!” I don’t think the participants detected the irony.

Kansas Senator Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat and a schoolteacher, said that keeping class sizes small, keeping quality teachers, and making sure that all children have an equal opportunity to succeed are the right things to do. Early childhood education and more technology are needed. He advocated for increasing state funding of Kansas schools instead of reliance on local property taxes.

He said that investment in education is less expensive than paying to house prisoners.

Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson acted as cheerleader for the crowd. He said that the outcome of the school funding battle will define the type of state we want to be: “Do we want to be a state that tears down our schools and refuses to fund education for our schoolchildren, or do we want to be a state that lifts up our schools, lifts up our teachers, and provides an education for every kid?”

He asked whether we wanted to be a state where only the children of the wealthy can get a good education. He urged the group to go into action by emailing, writing, and calling legislators. He said the message to give them is not only to support education, as all legislators say they support education. Instead, Parkinson said to ask them: “Will you raise taxes to save schools?”

He said we can do this — saving schools, presumably — with just a one cent increase in the sales tax. He said that the “so-called economists” on the right will say that a one cent sales tax will tear down our economy. He referred to the Sedgwick County sales tax used to build the Intrust Bank Arena, saying that people told him they didn’t know when the tax went on and off, claiming that no one noticed it. “Where are our priorities? If we can raise taxes one cent to build an arena, surely we can raise taxes on cent to help every schoolchild.”

Several speakers stressed the importance of education for the future well-being of our economy and country.

Analysis

The Kansas teachers union’s role in this rally is ironic to the point of absurdity, as it has been one of the major impediments to improving public schools. A recent letter in the Wall Street Journal described how the teachers union and its rules has harmed Topeka schools.

School spending supporters spend a lot of time talking about investing in education. But spending on public education is not really investing. It’s simply government spending on government schools. It results in jobs being transferred from the productive private sector to the unproductive public sector.

We must also disagree with the governor when he minimizes the impact of a sales tax on the economy. Despite the governor’s contention — I’ll chalk it up to rhetorical excess — I certainly noticed when the Sedgwick County sales tax started and stopped. A sales tax increase does result in lost private sector jobs. It results in lost economic freedom, as explained in Tax increases will cost Kansas jobs, economic freedom.

If a sales tax increase could be used to fund increased spending on schools without harming the economy, why stop at a one cent increase? Why not three or four cents? Or ten cents on the dollar? As we’ve seen, no amount of increased spending will satisfy the school spending lobby, at least not until all private sector wealth is transferred to the government.

Finally, for those who are willing to cast the lot of Kansas schoolchildren with the current system, consider the Adequate Yearly Funding website created to support this rally. The creator of this site, apparently Noah Slay, a third grade teacher and one of the rally organizers and speakers, evidently doesn’t know how to correctly form the plural of a word like “logo.” Twice the site erroneously creates the plural form of this noun using the greengrocer’s apostrophe: “If you’re creative and enjoy creating interesting and catchy slogans and logo’s …”

Related: Kansas school spending rally examined in video, story.


23 thoughts on “Kansans, including governor, rally for school spending, taxes”

  1. Weeks, you are one vile, disgusting peice of ****. You know nothing but hate and contempt toward humanity.

    It is a comfort to know that when you finally leave this world that you will have to atone for self-serving behaviors in this lifetime before what ever higher entity (or entitites) you value.

    It does appear to this “concerned” citizen that you worship at the god of the almighty dollar. You are doomed to spend enternity in the same place as Fred Phelps.

  2. It seems when people (usually the left) can not argue the facts or defend they positions, they resort to personal attacks.

  3. There will never be enough money to satisfy the educrats with their six figure salaries, generous benefits and SUVs all provided by the taxpayer. Our children have become a commodity exploited and used by the educrats to continue to enrich themselves. If questioned about how education dollars are spent, the educrat comeback is that you are selfish and do not support the children. Public education has expanded into an insatiable, bloated empire.

    My teacher friends have either retired or can’t wait to retire. They tell me that they do not get quality teaching time in the classroom because they have to spend too much time dealing with disruptive students and behavior problems without support from administration. Parents become the teachers due to the voluminous amount homework sent home daily.

    Kansans are supporting over 200 school districts all with an administrative staff. Check out the layers of administration and their salaries in USD 259. Visit the KASB headquarters in Topeka funded with taxpayer dollars … resembles the Taj Mahal. These educrats live far better than most of the taxpayers who fund their lavish salaries and lifestyles.

    Folks we will continue to be fleeced by the educrats using our children and teachers as the bait to feed the bloated empire until we stand up and demand spending accountability. We can support our children and teachers without continually giving in to the demands of an arrogant empire.

    P.S. Concerned is either one of the educrats or has his blinders on and has bought into all the educrat hype.

  4. Bob:

    I was the legislative sponsor for the rally. It was started as an idea by a local group of elementary teachers and parents in Berryton. They contacted friends in other districts and the result was that over 1000 parents, students, and teachers came to Topeka to stand up for our kids.

    KNEA had NOTHING to do with the organization or who spoke at the event. I personally invited the speakers. All KNEA did was provide a parking lot. But it would be like Bob Weeks to make a bonehead assumption and try to mislead his readers.

  5. “The theme of the rally — besides more taxes and more spending — was the chant “We want what’s right, not what’s left!” I don’t think the participants detected the irony.”

    That’s funny.

  6. Bob, where is your “Report Abuse” button?

    Those who support public ed in its current form will never get it. You people actually think our schools are doing right by KS students. As someone who graduated from South High School in 1972, I can tell you that USD 259 in no way, shape, or form currently offers the academic education I rec’d. (My children graduated from Heights 10 years ago, and our schools have actually deteriorated, academically, since then.) The article in the Eagle today, “6 Wichita schools among bottom 5%,” blames No Child Left Behind (in a veiled way) for making staff and students at these schools feel bad about not meeting goals, especially since they are improving. (Remember, folks, when you blame Bush for NCLB, he put Ted Kennedy in charge of it.) Fact is, our problems do not begin in high school and cannot be addressed in high school. If you look at low test scores, there is a direct correlation between those and the inability to read at grade level. Since no one will allow us to address the culture of poverty and how it does not value education, we must use curricula that are proven to teach the majority of children to read–in elementary school. Alphabetic Phonics, a curriculum proven to teach dyslexic children to read, is one of those curricula. Such multisensory phonics curricula will not only teach the 15-20% of undiagnosed and unrecognized dyslexics, but those who come from a less that ideal environment in their first 5 years of life. No AP and similar curricula cannot work miracles, but maybe if we actually begin teaching these children to read, we can begin to address the things that perpetuate the cycle of poverty: teenage mothers, out-of-wedlock births, an entitlement society, and citizens who refuse to take responsibility for their own actions.

  7. Dear Concerned,
    To prove my point about what our schools are not teaching (and this is not intended to be mean to you), the word is spelled “piece” not “peice.” The rule is, and you were probably never taught it: “I” before “e” except after “c” or when sounded as “a” as in “neighbor” and “weigh.”

    85% of the English language is regular. Spelling rules are important, and yet our K-12 schools began abandoning teaching them in the 1960s when I started elementary school. My training in Alphabetic Phonics taught me so much I had never learned there.

    I learned to read with the “look-say” method (Dick and Jane readers), and yet in the same Wichita school system, my husband, who lived in a much poorer neighborhood, learned with hard-core phonics. (He is an infinitely better reader than I am.)

    I pay my taxes in support of 259, but I would rather financially support a school system that is doing the right things for our children and grandchildren.

  8. Rep. Ann Mah is very disingenuous about the KNEA. The KNEA headquarters are located within easy walking district of the statehouse for the same reason that beer trucks are spotted outside bars. It’s where the money is.

    When I read that the head of the KNEA spoke at the rally I was not surprised. The teachers union represents their members.
    They need to earn their union dues paid salary.

    I remember reading about the head of the NY teachers union boss Albert Shanker who was asked about helping the children. Shanker gave a candid, unforgettable (at least to me), and very quotable answer:

    “I’ll help the children when they start paying union dues.” That’s how they will “stand up for kids.”

    When the unions claim its about the kids, they lie. It is about the money.

    When a far left legislator like Rep. Mah claims otherwise, it is not credible. Rep. Mah’s dismal vote rating on the Kansas Taxpayers Network’s scorecard was one of the worst in the Kansas house and a great way of showing how the ugly sausage gets ground at the statehouse. Soaring state spending in the last decade is the reason this state is having another fiscal crisis.

  9. What happened to all that money we were supposed to get from the gambling and lotto in Kansas?

    Same thing that’s going to happen if they raise taxes. Wake up people!

  10. Bob, you’ll make more sense if no one gets an education. I see how this issue sticks in your craw. If we can provide a solid education everyone will know for a fact that you’re a moron.

  11. To prove my point about what our schools are not teaching (and this is not intended to be mean to you), the word is spelled “piece” not “peice.” The rule is, and you were probably never taught it: “I” before “e” except after “c” or when sounded as “a” as in “neighbor” and “weigh.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I Kim Kim Potochnik has never made an error on a keyboard. I do admit I didn’t “spell check” or “proof reead” my post before hitting the “submit” button. Shame on me! It must mean I am a product of the public schools! No one in private or parochial schools EVER miss type “i” and “e”..

    Face it Kimmy you, Cindy Duckett, the Landwehr slime tandem (David and Brenda) HATE public schools. I’ve met all of you other the years and find you nauseating. You will never bring down public schools or the unions that represent the teachers.

    All you will do is die a lonely death going straight to he** with the likes of Fred Phelps. Humanity will not miss any of you.

  12. Wow, the person who titles himself “concerned” thinks he speaks for God!

    Not only has “concerned” condemned Bob Weeks to hell, but he’s condemned several other people to hell. All in one day! And, he still has time to make 2 long condescending posts here! (And he can’t spell the words “eternity” or “entities,” “piece” or even the word “whatever”)

    “Concerned” sure is arrogant.

    Thank goodness “concerned” isn’t yet in charge of the entire state (but he’s working on it) or there would be a reeducation camp set up for you hell-bound individuals.

    The fact “concerned” can’t even be civil on a public board shows he certainly won’t be civil if he gets any more power. He’s already eager to wipe you off the face of the earth & is so vehement about it that he doesn’t even consider you to be part of humanity. “Humanity,” he says, “will not miss any of you.” No doubt he includes himself among that humanity, but depersonalizes you.

    He says it won’t bother him at all to know you’re being tortured for all eternity.

    So this is the type of person who uses government to FORCIBLY take bread from the unemployed masses, including the children, and feed the UNION royalty.

    Remember these UNIONS exclude children. They only use kids as leverage to line their own pockets.

  13. Since 65% of the total state budget already goes to education, perhaps state government should allocate 100% of the total state budget to education and then let the educrats decide if there are other needs in our state besides education that should be funded.

  14. I appreciate Bob separating his news reports from his analysis.
    I can rely on a somewhat neutral story with his perspective on the issue clearly stated.

  15. Lonny

    How can you even dream that any “story” Bob Weeks posts could be considered even remotely “neutral”.

    That would be like saying FOX broadcasts unbiased news.

    Week’s story IS his perspective.

  16. Concerned,
    Or should I say Blaidd_Drwg69? That’s your name on the Eagle Web site where you oozed hatred and disgust for me, Cindy–and now David and Brenda. So, Bob, now I’m glad you don’t have a “Report Abuse” button. This vile human being removed my post in response to his vile post about me because it made sense, making him look as petty as he is. At some point, everyone will know who you are, Blaidd_Drwg69, and you will no longer be able to hide behind your screen names. You do your cause no good with your nasty rhetoric. Not only will you not change any minds on this Web site, those who agree with you will run from you so as not to be lumped with your kind.

  17. Bob, I wouldn’t worry too much about what Ann Mah thinks or says about you. She’s distorting what you wrote just so she can have a basis for tossing out an insult. The teachers union had no role in the rally? It was Blake West the president of the union who spoke at the rally, didn’t he?

  18. kimpot54 March 18, 2010 at 10:33 am
    Concerned,
    Or should I say Blaidd_Drwg69? That’s your name on the Eagle Web site where you oozed hatred and disgust for me, Cindy–and now David and Brenda. So, Bob, now I’m glad you don’t have a “Report Abuse” button. This vile human being removed my post in response to his vile post about me because it made sense, making him look as petty as he is. At some point, everyone will know who you are, Blaidd_Drwg69, and you will no longer be able to hide behind your screen names. You do your cause no good with your nasty rhetoric. Not only will you not change any minds on this Web site, those who agree with you will run from you so as not to be lumped with your kind.

    How does one go about “getting a post removed” anyway Kimmie?

  19. Wow, looks like I missed the fireworks while on Spring break with the family. Shame. Frankly, I find it very disappointing to see the personal attacks. I’ve yet to find a single circumstance in life where personal attacks are either justified or fruitful. It’s clear that this time is no exception. In my mind, such attacks are the equivalent of profanity in one’s language… filler when nothing intelligent can be extracted from the mind. I loved the irony of the slogan: “We want what’s right, not what’s left!” Nice catch! It really isn’t about the children. If it were then the proponents of school funding would have been funneling the Montoy money directly to the classrooms these past four years. This has not happened.

    KimPot54, I couldn’t agree more with your assessment on reading. I went to public school in Michigan and also learned via the “look-say” method. In contrast, my children attended elementary school at Wichita’s Bostic Traditional Magnet and were taught how to read phonetically. Needless to say, they are much better readers than me and as you noted, are now very successful high school students. As a “pure magnet” Bostic was one of those schools given a little freedom to deviate from the dictated curriculum. We selected books/study maerials based on parent and staff preferences. Ultimately, the educators had the support of a phenomenal administrator – Dr. Shelly Martin. Extrapolate that freedom out and imagine how successful Kansas schools could become if we allowed school choice. I have a dream…

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