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Posts tagged as “KASB”

Kansas school district consolidation, reorganization testimony heard

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.

Kansas advocates for disabled face well-funded challenger

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.

To Kansas school spending advocates, criticism comes fast and loose

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.

For Kansas teachers union, fund balances are an illusion, not a solution

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.

Kansas needs education for prosperity

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."

Testimony against taxpayer-funded lobbying

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.

Report from Topeka, July 1, 2005

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?

Regarding School Finance from Senator Karin Brownlee

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.

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