Kansas teachers union makes it easy to ask for money

Thanks for Kansas Liberty for uncovering an effort of the Kansas National Education Association (or KNEA, the teachers union) to make it easy for school spending advocates to ask for more tax money.

This is part of the effort by the Kansas school spending lobby to pass tax increases on Kansans so that schools won’t have to face the same tough choices that businesses and families have to make.

The KNEA effort makes it easy to solicit legislators with just a few clicks of the mouse. There is a list of talking points with red arrows. By clicking on the arrows, folks who want to tax their fellow Kansans can include boilerplate text in their message to legislators.

Here are the teachers union talking points:

  • Kansas is in serious trouble. And it is not trouble caused by overspending; it is caused by over cutting.

  • Cuts made by the state in Medicaid have caused Kansans with disabilities to lose services and low-paid care-givers have seen their pay decline.
  • Our schools have cut employees and for the first time in generations, the educational opportunities available to our children are at risk of being cut and lost.
  • The safety of our communities is at risk as you approve cuts that will turn prisoners lose and close down correctional facilities.
  • Repairs and reconstruction on our highways will come to a halt if the state doesn’t get serious about these funding challenges.
  • For too long the legislature has been handing out corporate tax cuts while vulnerable programs have to cope with fewer and fewer resources. A legislature that is more interested in protecting corporate tax cuts than the vulnerable citizens of this state is a legislature that has lost its moral compass.
  • We have long enjoyed life in a state that knew how take care of its people, educate its children, and build great roads and highways. That quality of life is being eroded right now.
  • But you, as a state legislature, can turn things around. I urge you to pass a tax bill that will stop these cuts and protect our quality of life. House Bill 2475 will do that. And I for one am willing to pay a few pennies more for a loaf of bread if it means our schools stay open, our seniors have access to home-based care, the disabled are given a helping hand, our roads remain top quality, and our communities are kept safe.
  • Please support a revenue increase to protect the lives of Kansas citizens.

10 thoughts on “Kansas teachers union makes it easy to ask for money”

  1. Bob,
    I just read the house bill 2475 and maybe I missed it but can you tell me where it assures that the extra tax will specifically go to the items you mentioned. I see comments about portions going to the highway fund (but not sure if that means it will be used for actual highway building, salaries or what).
    Thank you in advance for the information.
    Larry

  2. Don’t know what is going on in the rest of the state, but here in Ashland the school has let go all the para’s, cut administrative staff, gone to a four day school week, and it is all pay to play in sports.

  3. In Wichita the school had 500 positions to fill and they only filled 300 of them. It’s more of a revenue replacement instead of an increase. It’s to replace what was given away in exemptions and cuts.

  4. bman, you’re very fortunate to be in Ashland. It appears you have a school board that is grounded in reality. I’m especially encouraged to hear of the administrative cuts. In truth, our children need less time in school…not more. Cutting back to four days of school is actually a gift for the students and for the community. Our current system is doing a fine job “schooling” our children; whereas real education comes from the daily interactions of life. Perhaps Wichita will look to your community’s progress.

  5. @KipSchroeder – I must respectfully disagree with your assessment. While the natural social interactions and real-world opportunities available to children may have sufficed in ages past, requirements for modern occupations, sustainable productivity, and leadership in an information-and-innovation economy require a rational education that teaches complex thinking and skill development that is most certainly not “natural”. The question is not whether or not children need these educational experiences, but how well public schools can and do provide them (not particularly well in most cases). The answer is the innovation in education provided by research-based practice applied in small, flexible, and capably-led autonomous schools, and the public education establishment has never done this well and shows no sign of trying.

  6. Privatize, privatize, privatize! Ashland is moving in that direction and Wichita will also have to as the economy get worse (and it will, alot worse) and tax revenues continue to shrink. Private schools educate children better and it costs less that public (government) schools! I send my child to the Independent School in Wichita; $7,000 per year. The average per pupil spending in Wichita; estimates vary from $10,000-25,000. Spending more does not mean our children are getting a better education!

  7. At our towns school with an enrollment of 95 kids, the cost per pupil is $19,687.
    http://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/School%20Finance/budget/Budget_at_a_Glance/09-10_Summary/Profile314-2010.pdf

    In one year’s time, ‘disabled children’ increased from 13% to 20% and the funding for special education increased 77%. see School Report Card on left of page at http://www.usd314.k12.ks.us/

    I don’t see any kids around that I would think of as disabled, but what do I know? I don’t have no education degree.

  8. Kansas spends about 51% of its state General Fund for k-12 according to Kansas Fiscal Facts published by KS Legislative Research. That’s about 1/2 of $5.5 billion this year for about 445k students. Do the math on average per pupil spending by just the state.

    Then add in the local property tax funds as well as federal tax funds that some KS school districts still keep off their books. Kansas Policy Institute has some excellent research showing that the total k12 spending now averages $12,000 per pupil per year. This figure rapidly grew after the 2005 school finance lawsuit. The government school establishment from the KNEA to the KS Assoc. of School Bds. and their ~270 school district members have an infinite amount of tax funds to lobby and file lawsuits but they keep sending begging bowls home with my daughters to try and raise even more money that actually makes it to the classroom. It is a disgrace the way the government school establishment performs in this state.

  9. Of course, no one can complain or act against school spending. The implication put out there is that if you do, then you don’t care about kids. Yet another effective use of The Adelphi Technique, ‘divide and conquer.’ Schools are so very good at it. They even said when they filed this second lawsuit, “we’re doing it for the kids.” I, for one, am not buying that.

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