Tag: KNEA

Kansas teachers union compliance instructions released
Wichita and Kansas schools

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 a mandatorily negotiable topic under the PNA given such plans would have the impact of reducing the earning potential of other teachers?" Teachers unions oppose merit pay b...
Breaking the statehouse budget deadlock
Kansas state government

Breaking the statehouse budget deadlock

By Karl Peterjohn The budget deadlock has begun at the Kansas statehouse. The legislature cannot leave Topeka until they have approved the next biennial state budget that will begin July 1. Usually, this includes the governor’s signature on that legislation. That might not happen this year. That’s the issue. Governor Brownback is not willing to fund a multi-year, multi-billion spending bill demanded by the liberal legislative majorities in both houses. Earlier this year he vetoed a record-breaking income tax hike scheme. So far, the governor has been successful in having his vetoes sustained. The pressure is going to be applied for the governor’s fiscally responsible Republican allies opposed to income tax hikes. The powerful government employee spending lobbies, headed by arguably, th...
Kansas teachers union versus students
Wichita and Kansas schools

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 happens. But this is not a reason to saddle schoolchildren with bad teachers, which is what due process does. In a recent survey, teachers sai...
School choice in Kansas: Some have it. Many do not.
Wichita and Kansas schools

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 David Schnauer, General Counsel $142,630 ...
Again, KPERS shows why public pension reform is essential
Kansas state government

Again, KPERS shows why public pension reform is essential

Proposals in the Kansas budget for fiscal year 2018 are more evidence of why defined-benefit pension plans are incompatible with the public sector. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has proposed delays in funding KPERS, the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. The delays are in both directions. The state intends to break a past promise to pay, and also to skip some future payments. A memo from KPERS summarizes recent history and the proposed changes: "Last fiscal year, the State delayed its fourth quarter payment for School employer contributions with a promise to pay it in Fiscal Year 2018 with interest. The Governor is recommending the State not pay this contribution and skip one quarterly payment each year through FY19. In addition, the Governor recommends extending the time to pay ...
Year in Review: 2016
Politics

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; Lawrence W. Reed, president of the Foundation for Economic Education; and Congressman Mike Pompeo. January Kansas legislative res...
The plan to raise your taxes that can’t be found
Kansas state government

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. Click here to view the plan.
Decoding the Kansas teachers union
Wichita and Kansas schools

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 result, Kansas has very few charter schools. KNEA, the teacher union in Kansas, says: Rep. Ed Trimmer noted that a study provided by the proponents (anti-public school "think tank" Kansas Policy Institute) report...
Decoding the Kansas teachers union
Wichita and Kansas schools

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." Here the writer -- lobbyist Mark Desetti -- correctly identifies the concern of the teachers union: Public education. Not education, but only public education. Why? Teachers in private schools are not union ...
Wichita teachers union president on video
Wichita and Kansas schools

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 child, and indecent liberties with a child.
WichitaLiberty.TV: Charter schools in Kansas, and a victory for speech and association
WichitaLibertyTV

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
Kansas teachers union objects. Strenuously.
Wichita and Kansas schools

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 professional representation for teachers and leave them as at-will indentured labor." Indentured labor! Government employees as indentured labor! By who...
Kansas teachers union opposes bill that empowers teachers
Wichita and Kansas schools

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 for elections every third year.) As you might imagine, Kansas National Education Association and its affiliates like Un...
In Kansas, teachers unions should stand for retention
Wichita and Kansas schools

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 retention once in a while. The bill has an estimated cost of $340,000 annually, including the hiring of 4 employees. But this is a situ...
After years of low standards, Kansas schools adopt truthful standards
Wichita and Kansas schools

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 by the Hoover Institution and the Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School that is committed to careful examination ...
Kansas schools and other states
Wichita and Kansas schools

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 to National Center for Education Statistics, Kansas does have a high percentage of students that gradu...
Must it be public schools?
Wichita and Kansas 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 diversity and innovation, and with low accountability. School choice programs allow parents and children to find alternativ...
School choice in Kansas: The haves and have-nots
Wichita and Kansas schools

School choice in Kansas: The haves and have-nots

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. Source: IRS Form 990 for 2013] John Heim, Executive Director $158,809 Donna Whiteman, Assistant Executive Director $105,872 Can afford to send their children to any school. Kansas National Education Association Political Action Committee Executives and annual salaries [2. Source: IRS Form 990 for 2013] Karen Godfrey, President $98,234 Claudette Johns, Executive Director $125,052 Kevin Riemann, Associate Executive Director $123,143 David Schnauer, General Counsel $114,886 Marjorie Blaufuss, Staff Counsel $116,731 Mark Desetti, Director of Governmental Relations $115,106 An...
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