When the Kansas Chamber of Commerce recently referred to the need to control Kansas government spending and taxes, a few politicians and newspaper editorial writers embellished what the Chamber actually said in order to make their own political points.
Posts tagged as “KASB”
Are those who question or oppose the need for additional spending on Kansas schools opposed to education? Melinda Fritze, who is chair of the Andover Parent Legislative Council, says so
A new report by the Kansas Policy Institute provides some insight into the voracious appetite of the Kansas school spending lobby for taxpayer dollars: There's never enough.
Last week the Kansas House Education Budget Committee heard testimony on HB 2728. The key provision of this bill is that Kansas school districts would be required to have a minimum of 10,000 students. It also requires conforming to a common chart of accounts, and that school finance information be placed on the internet.
Friday's press event held by ACT (Advocates in Communities Team) of South Central Kansas provided an opportunity to learn about disabled Kansans and their families, and the challenges they face from reduced spending by the state.
The stories told at the event and in supplementary materials are compelling. If there is a role for government-provided services to those who can't help themselves, these are the people.
Yesterday I reported how Kansas school spending advocates lie about facts in order to score political points with their constituencies. Today we again see how the school spending lobby distorts facts, this time in a very substantial way concerning an important matter.
As the debate over the funding of Kansas public schools goes on, sometimes facts get lost in the shuffle, and school spending advocates sometimes invent "facts" in order to score political points by criticizing those working to bring inconvenient facts to light.
Today's edition of Under the Dome Today -- that's the house organ of the Kansas National Education Association or (KNEA, the teachers union) -- contains a story with the headline "Anti-Government Group launches another attack on public education."
A more accurate headline might read "School spending advocacy group refuses to acknowledge budget solution that Kansas Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis says could be used." But that's a tad wordy.
Mark Tallman, assistant executive director of the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB), seems to be making the case that spending on education is more important to a state than moderate tax rates. He makes this case as reported in a recent Topeka Capital-Journal article Education a key to prosperity.
As reported: "Tallman said action next year by Kansas lawmakers to cut spending rather than increase investment in education through tax hikes would weaken student instruction and damage prospects of long term growth in the economy."
The following testimony from John Todd explains some of the harmful effects of taxpayer-funded lobbying. Isn't it terrible that that interests of governmental bodies like the city and county you live in or your local school district are different from your interests? As John explains, local government has become a special interest group, and like other such groups, it must lobby for its own interests.
As the residents of Wichita consider whether to vote for the $350 million school bond issue proposed by the board of USD 259 (Wichita public school district), be aware that the bond issue and its associated increase in property taxes is not the only tax increase the public schools in Kansas would like to have. The following article from Karl Peterjohn explains.
Thank you again, Karl Peterjohn of the Kansas Taxpayers Network, for your insights into the Kansas Legislature's special session.
The Kansas house begins their 10:30 AM session with a constitutional amendment to reassert their fiscal powers in a key vote for this special session. Last Sunday a similar amendment failed getting only 73 of the 84 (2/3) votes needed to be submitted to voters.
Yesterday's house vote on school finance tied the $140 million in additional funding to the passage of an amendment in the constitutional battle between the court and the other two branches of Kansas government. Yesterday, the governor declined to state her position on the constitutional amendment proposals but many legislators believe that she is holding house democrats away from any amendment.
The vote last Sunday was critical since the senate had already passed this amendment and house approval would have allowed Kansas voters to have a voice in this crisis. Kansas voters continue to be largely disenfranchised in this process.
What has been missing from the school finance debate is perspective. Sadly, the figures tossed about by the various sides do not reflect numbers that most Kansans can easily relate to understanding. Should government school spending be raised by $161 million or $86 million?
What is the higher priority? Should the Legislature send $143 million more to schools or preserve the form of government our forefathers carefully designed over two hundred years ago? The separation of powers doctrine is fundamental to maintaining our free society because it maintains a balance of powers with the judiciary unable to control the budget. That is until last Friday when the Kansas Supreme Court blurred the lines and came out with a ruling that the Kansas Legislature should appropriate an additional $143 million to the K-12 schools, for starters. The Court expects $568 million more after that.