School choice

Kansas tax credit scholarship program

Kansas tax credit scholarship program

An op-ed in the Wichita Eagle regarding school choice prompts uninformed and misinformed comments. An op-ed written by James Franko appearing in the Wichita Eagle explains the importance of the Kansas Tax Credit for Low Income Students Scholarship Program. This is a program that awards scholarships to students to attend schools of choice. It is a small program. For the school year ending in 2018, 292 students received scholarships totaling $675,892.63. This represents one of every 9,606 dollars spent on Kansas schools. For each group of 1,632 Kansas students, one received a tax credit scholarship. Yet, this program is seen…
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Project Wichita survey

Project Wichita survey

The Project Wichita survey is about to end. Will it have collected useful data? Project Wichita is "a community engagement process to identify the future we want for our home and the steps necessary to achieve it." [1. Project Wichita. Available at https://www.projectwichita.org/.] So far it has held focus groups that collected ideas for the future of Wichita, in which "an astounding 3,800+ people [2. With the population of the city of Wichita at about 388,000, (U.S. Census Bureau. 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates), nearly one percent participated.] shared their vision in 239+ focus groups," according to the project's…
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Does School Choice Kill Public Schools?

Does School Choice Kill Public Schools?

Does School Choice Kill Public Schools? By Lori Graham Recently, I asked Kris Kobach, candidate for Kansas Governor, if he supports school choice. His answer was “Yes," and he gave an idea of how that would work. The liberal media pounced on his idea and twisted his answer in a way that perpetuates the fear that allowing parents to choose what is best for their child’s education will kill the public school system. Conservatives and liberals alike are fearful about this, but will it really kill the public schools? To answer this, we need to first look at the problem.…
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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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WichitaLiberty.TV: James Franko, Kansas Policy Institute

WichitaLiberty.TV: James Franko, Kansas Policy Institute

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: James Franko of Kansas Policy Institute joins Bob Weeks and Karl Peterjohn. Topics are the new Kansas school finance bill and the new tax bill. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 153, broadcast June 11, 2017. Shownotes Kansas Policy Institute SB 19, the new school finance plan SB 30, the new tax bill Kansas Freedom Index Archives of voting indexes from Bob Weeks and Karl Peterjohn
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Author Shari Howard McMinn

WichitaLiberty.TV: Author Shari Howard McMinn

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Author and former Wichitan Shari Howard McMinn discusses her new book on adoption and her experiences with homeschooling. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 152, broadcast June 4, 2017. Shownotes Her web page: sharimcminn.com The book Adoption: Encouragement And Advice For A Hopeful Journey The book STRETCHED YET UNBROKEN, A Family Knit Together Continues Their Legacy of Faith
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Kansas Policy Institute President Dave Trabert

WichitaLiberty.TV: Kansas Policy Institute President Dave Trabert

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Kansas Policy Institute Dave Trabert joins Bob Weeks and Karl Peterjohn to discuss the Kansas economy, budget, and schools. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 149, broadcast April 30, 2017. Shownotes Kansas Policy Institute The Sentinel: St. Francis Closing Is Medicaid Expansion Red Herring
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Wrong direction for Wichita public schools

Wrong direction for Wichita public schools

A letter in the Wichita Eagle illustrates harmful attitudes and beliefs of the public school establishment. The letter is titled "Wrong direction." It was submitted by John H. Wilson, was published on February 26, 2017, and may be read here. What's wrong in this letter? Here's one thing: "First, the ill-founded assertion is that parents are well equipped to identify the best school for their children. Wrong." This is an incredibly bigoted assertion. This is one of the standard arguments against school choice, that parents -- particularly minority and low-income families -- don't have the ability to make wise choices…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: James Franko of Kansas Policy Institute

WichitaLiberty.TV: James Franko of Kansas Policy Institute

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: James Franko of Kansas Policy Institute joins Bob Weeks and Karl Peterjohn to discuss education in Kansas and the state budget. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 141, broadcast March 5, 2017. Shownotes Kansas Policy Institute The Sentinel Urban Preparatory Academy
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Kansas politics, school choice, and asset forfeiture

WichitaLiberty.TV: Kansas politics, school choice, and asset forfeiture

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Co-host Karl Peterjohn joins Bob Weeks to discuss a few big developments in Kansas politics, school choice, and civil asset forfeiture. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 136, broadcast January 29, 2017. Shownotes Article: Accountability in Kansas public schools Article: Kansas civil asset forfeiture Article: What is School Choice? Article: 3 Reasons to Support School Choice Article: School choice at Institute for Justice Resources: School Choice at Cato Institute
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Accountability in Kansas public schools

Accountability in Kansas public schools

Critics of school choice say there is no accountability outside the traditional public schools. Here are the standards Kansas used to hold its schools accountable. Are non-traditional public schools held properly accountable? Do charter schools and private schools escape the accountability standards states use for their traditional public schools, particularly in Kansas? A standard argument against school choice is that charter schools and private schools are not held accountable. Underlying this argument is the assumption that parents have neither the time nor technical expertise to properly evaluate the schools their children attend. Only those with special training can do this,…
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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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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 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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Trump and school choice

Trump and school choice

Could a President Trump bring more school choice to Kansas? One of the campaign planks of President-Elect Donald J. Trump is support for school choice. Specifically, his campaign page states: "Immediately add an additional federal investment of $20 billion towards school choice. This will be done by reprioritizing existing federal dollars."[1. Donald J. Trump for President. Education. November 9, 2016. http://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/education/] In the next point: "Give states the option to allow these funds to follow the student to the public or private school they attend. Distribution of this grant will favor states that have private school choice, magnet schools and…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Wichita and Kansas economics, and government investment

WichitaLiberty.TV: Wichita and Kansas economics, and government investment

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Wichita sells a hotel, more subsidy for downtown, Kansas newspaper editorialists fall for a lobbyist's tale, how Kansas can learn from Arizona schools, and government investment. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 131, broadcast October 30, 2016. Shownotes Article: Wichita, give back the Hyatt proceeds. Instead of spending the proceeds of the Hyatt hotel sale, the city should honor those who paid for the hotel -- the city’s taxpayers. Article: In Wichita, developer welfare under a cloud. A downtown Wichita project receives a small benefit from the city, with no mention…
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Kansas and Arizona schools

Kansas and Arizona schools

Arizona shows that Kansas is missing out on an opportunity to provide better education at lower cost. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau tells us this:[1. U.S. Census Bureau. Public Education Finances: 2014. Table 8: Per Pupil Amounts for Current Spending of Public Elementary-Secondary School Systems by State: Fiscal Year 2014. Available at census.gov/library/publications/2016/econ/g14-aspef.html.] Total Spending Per Pupil: Arizona: $7,528. Kansas: $9,972. Spending on Instruction Per Pupil: Arizona: $4,091. Kansas $6,112. This data is from the school year ending in 2014, which is the most recent data from the Census Bureau that includes data from all states in a comparable…
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School choice and funding

School choice and funding

Opponents of school choice programs argue the programs harm traditional public schools, both financially and in their ability to serve their remaining students. Evidence does not support this position. The prevalent argument is that charter schools and other school choice programs drain funds from public schools. That is, if a public school student chooses to attend a charter or private school, and if the money follows the student to the other school, the public school district loses money that it otherwise would have received. Therefore, the public school district is worse off, and so too are its students. A rebuttal…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Cost of Kansas schools, government schools, and understanding Kansas school outcomes

WichitaLiberty.TV: Cost of Kansas schools, government schools, and understanding Kansas school outcomes

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Is it true that some Kansas schoolchildren have no hope of attending a private school? What’s wrong with government schools? Then a talk on "Rethinking Education Tomorrow Starts with Understanding Outcomes Today." View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 122, broadcast June 19, 2016. The talk by Dave Trabert is located at youtu.be/4h_bM6QPKeI. If it does not play, please click here. Shownotes A plea to a legislator regarding Kansas schools. On Facebook, a citizen makes an appeal to her cousin, who is a member of the Kansas Legislature. They really are government…
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