Kansas National Education Association

Kansas teachers union compliance instructions released

Kansas teachers union compliance instructions released

If you're running for office in Kansas and want the support of the teachers union, here are questions you'll need to answer their way. Kansas National Education Association (KNEA), our state's teachers union has a questionnaire for candidates running for elective office. It's really not a series of questions; instead it is a list of things the union wants. Candidates seeking union backing are expected to comply. Following are a sample of questions with some commentary. The full questionnaire may be viewed here. Question: "Do you support requiring that bonuses and/or incentive pay including any form of 'merit pay' be…
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Dale Dennis, sage of Kansas school finance?

Dale Dennis, sage of Kansas school finance?

Is the state's leading expert on school funding truly knowledgeable, or is he untrustworthy? Recent events have found Kansas Department of Education’s Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis in the news regarding a possible mistake or misapplication of school funds. The school spending establishment has rushed to his rescue, with Kansas National Education Association, Kansas Association of School Boards, United School Administrators of Kansas, Kansas School Superintendents Association, and American Federation of Teachers Kansas issuing a joint statement. Dale Dennis, says the statement, is "the best friend public education and the kids of Kansas have had." He is described as "the most…
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Kansas teachers union versus students

Kansas teachers union versus students

There's no surprise that a labor union would support its members over all other considerations, even Kansas schoolchildren. Kansas National Education Association, the Kansas teachers union, wants to restore due process rights to teachers. The union believes that without due process, also called tenure, teachers are subject to arbitrary dismissal. A common story is that a school board member whose child isn't made -- say, quarterback on the football team or head cheerleader -- could pressure school administrators to take action against the responsible coach or teacher. Pressure could even be brought to change grades. That could happen. It probably…
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School choice in Kansas: Some have it. Many do not.

School choice in Kansas: Some have it. Many do not.

Kansas non-profit executives work to deny low-income families the school choice opportunities that executive salaries can afford. Kansas Association of School Boards Executives and annual salaries [1. IRS Form 990 for 2014] John Heim, Executive Director $182,471 Donna Whiteman, Assistant Executive Director $120,041 Brian Jordan, Assistant Executive Director $106,568 Douglas Moeckel, Deputy Executive Director $109,425 David Shriver, Assistant Executive Director $103,845 These executives can afford to send their children to any school. Kansas National Education Association Executives and annual salaries [2. IRS Form 990 for 2015] Mark Farr, President $118,314 Claudette Johns, Executive Director $149,553 Kevin Riemann, Executive Director $139,327…
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Year in Review: 2016

Year in Review: 2016

Here are highlights from Voice for Liberty for 2016. Was it a good year for the principles of individual liberty, limited government, economic freedom, and free markets in Wichita and Kansas? Also be sure to view the programs on WichitaLiberty.TV for guests like journalist, novelist, and blogger Bud Norman; Radio talk show host Joseph Ashby; David Bobb, President of Bill of Rights Institute; Heritage Foundation trade expert Bryan Riley; Radio talk show host Andy Hooser; Keen Umbehr; John Chisholm on entrepreneurship; James Rosebush, author of "True Reagan," Jonathan Williams of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC); Gidget Southway, or Danedri Herbert;…
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The plan to raise your taxes that can’t be found

The plan to raise your taxes that can’t be found

A coalition of Kansas advocacy groups wants to raise your taxes, but the plan is difficult to find. On Wednesday a coalition of groups presented their plan to balance the Kansas budget and provide more tax revenue to spend. But -- this plan can't be found at any of the participating groups' websites. So as a service to these groups, (Kansas Center for Economic Growth, Kansas Action for Children, Kansas Contractors Association, Kansas Organization of State Employees, and Kansas-National Education Association) I present a scanned version of the plan. Maybe one of the groups will send me a digital original.…
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Decoding the Kansas teachers union

Decoding the Kansas teachers union

Decoding and deconstructing communications from KNEA, the Kansas teachers union, lets us discover the true purpose of the union. Here, we look at a dispatch from Kansas National Education Association's "Under the Dome" newsletter from March 14, 2013. It may be found here. The topic of this day was a charter school bill. Kansas has a law that allows charter schools, which are public schools that operate outside many of the rules and regulations that govern traditional public schools. But the Kansas law is written in a way that makes it difficult to form a charter school, and as a…
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Decoding Duane Goossen

Decoding Duane Goossen

The writing of Duane Goossen, a former Kansas budget director, requires decoding and explanation. This time, his vehicle is "Rise Up, Kansas." Duane Goossen was Kansas budget director from 1998 to 2010.[11. Goossen, Duane. Kansas Budget Blog. http://www.kansasbudget.com/.] He is critical of the administration of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and recent sessions of the Kansas Legislature. It's useful to examine his writings so that Kansans may become aware of the ramifications of his recommendations, and how during his years as budget director he was unable to adhere to the principles he now advocates. Following, some language from his recent article…
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Decoding the Kansas teachers union

Decoding the Kansas teachers union

Explaining to Kansans what the teachers union really means in its public communications. After the November 2016 election, the Kansas National Education Association -- our state's teachers union -- wants to explain to Kansas the meaning of the results. But it takes a seasoned eye to recognize the subterfuge the union uses to advance its interests. The message from the union may be read at It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Following, quotes from the union missive and interpretation. "But at KNEA, we are focusing on what the 2016 election means for public education."…
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Wichita teachers union president on video

Wichita teachers union president on video

The president of United Teachers of Wichita has been caught on video expressing thoughts that can't be comforting to Wichita parents with children in the state's largest school district. Project Veritas reports on the candid thoughts of Steve Wentz in the story Teachers Union President Admits To Abusing Children. Based on past Wichita School District investigations, Wentz likely faces a lengthy stretch of paid administrative leave while the district decides what to do. Not long ago the district paid its school safety services supervisor for 15 months while he was charged with aggravated criminal sodomy, aggravated indecent liberties with a…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Charter schools in Kansas, and a victory for speech and association

WichitaLiberty.TV: Charter schools in Kansas, and a victory for speech and association

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Kansas has essentially no charter schools. Here’s why we need them. AFP Foundation scores a victory for free speech and association. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 120, broadcast June 5, 2016. Shownotes Kansas continues to snub school choice reform that helps the most vulnerable schoolchildren After years of low standards, Kansas schools adopt truthful standards Kansas NAEP scores for 2015 Kansas school test scores, two interactive visualizations
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Kansas teachers union objects. Strenuously.

Kansas teachers union objects. Strenuously.

Here are a few items from today's missive from Kansas National Education Association, the teachers union, along with commentary. KNEA says: "Jeff Melcher, the man who has fought to completely eliminate collective bargaining and other rights for teachers continued his war today with his bill intended to end teacher representation." The bill simply mandates elections every three years on whether teachers are satisfied with their current representation, which is almost always KNEA or an affiliate. It's not surprising the union is opposed to this. Accountability, after all. KNEA says: "Make no mistake, the intent of this bill is to end…
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Kansas teachers union opposes bill that empowers teachers

Kansas teachers union opposes bill that empowers teachers

Kansas National Education Association, the state's teachers union, opposes a bill that empowers teachers. A bill in the Kansas Senate would give teachers an ongoing voice in determining who represents them in their relationship with their employer. The bill is SB 469, titled "Recertification of professional employees' organizations under the professional negotiations act." It would require that the Kansas Department of Labor hold an election each year in each school district regarding whether the current representation should continue. These elections, in effect, would be referendums on the teachers union, by the teachers. (Update: The bill has been revised to call…
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In Kansas, teachers unions should stand for retention

In Kansas, teachers unions should stand for retention

A bill requiring teachers unions to stand for retention elections each year would be good for teachers, students, and taxpayers. The bill is SB 469, titled "Recertification of professional employees' organizations under the professional negotiations act." It would require that the Kansas Department of Labor hold an election each year in each school district regarding whether the current representation should continue. These elections, in effect, would be referendums on the teachers union, by the teachers. (Update: The bill has been revised to call for elections every third year.) That's a good thing. The teachers union monopoly ought to stand for…
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Wichita teacher salaries compared

Wichita teacher salaries compared

If Wichita public school teachers seem to be unhappy with their pay, there's a reason why. The following charts show the average salaries for three classes of employees as well as the change over time. The increase in principal salaries is three times that of teacher salaries. Citizens may want to keep this in mind when the district says that it is doing everything it can to direct resources into the classroom. Teachers may want to question why they pay dues to United Teachers of Wichita -- their union -- when they don't get better representation than this. To access…
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After years of low standards, Kansas schools adopt truthful standards

After years of low standards, Kansas schools adopt truthful standards

In a refreshing change, Kansas schools have adopted realistic standards for students, but only after many years of evaluating students using low standards. For years Kansas schools have used low standards to evaluate students. That is, Kansas was willing to say students are "proficient" at a much lower level of performance than most other states. But now the new Kansas standards are more in line with those of other states, and present a more truthful assessment of Kansas schoolchildren. This is the finding of the EducationNext report After Common Core, States Set Rigorous Standards. EducationNext is a scholarly journal published…
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Kansas schools and other states

Kansas schools and other states

A joint statement released by Kansas Association of School Boards, United School Administrators of Kansas, Kansas School Superintendents' Association, and Kansas National Education Association makes claims about Kansas public schools that aren't factual. The Kansas public school establishment is proud of Kansas schools. In a joint statement released at the start of this year's legislative session, satisfaction with schools is evident: "Our Kansas public schools are great. ... The results are there. Working with parents and communities, Kansas schools rank in the top ten nationally on every measure on reading and math tests, high school completion and college preparation." According…
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Must it be public schools?

Must it be public schools?

A joint statement released by Kansas Association of School Boards, United School Administrators of Kansas, Kansas School Superintendents' Association, and Kansas National Education Association exposes the attitudes of the Kansas public school establishment. In a joint statement by the leaders of the Kansas public school establishment the clear theme is that education must be provided by public schools. Not schools in general, but public schools. There's no reason that education must be provided by government, and many reasons to keep government out of education. Across the spectrum of human activity, government provides services at high cost, with low levels of…
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