School choice

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 continues to snub school choice reform that helps the most vulnerable schoolchildren

Kansas continues to snub school choice reform that helps the most vulnerable schoolchildren

Charter schools benefit minority and poor children, yet Kansas does not leverage their benefits, despite having a pressing need to boost the prospects of these children. The CREDO studies at Stanford University are often cited as the most comprehensive and reliable research on charter schools. Opponents of charter school focus on a finding that some charter schools are worse than local traditional public schools, the figures being 19 percent for reading and 31 percent for math. Because of this, opponents of charter schools feel justified in keeping them out of Kansas. (Kansas does allow charter schools, but the law is…
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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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School choice in Kansas: The haves and have-nots

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…
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Kansas public school establishment ought to thank Sam Brownback

Kansas public school establishment ought to thank Sam Brownback

Kansas public schools ought to thank the governor and legislature for failing to give parents the power of school choice. The public school establishment in Kansas is angry with the governor and legislature over school finance. Really, the public schools ought to be grateful for Governor Sam Brownback. In many states with conservative Republican governors, school choice programs have grown. In the summer of 2011 the Wall Street Journal reported on what it called “The Year of School Choice.” Some governors have been warriors for school choice. Not Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, however. He signed a small school choice bill…
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Block grants a chance for more school choice in Kansas

Block grants a chance for more school choice in Kansas

The block grant school funding bill under consideration in the Kansas Legislature would hold districts harmless for enrollment declines due to school choice. Critics of school choice programs allege that as public school districts lost students to other schools, and the students' funding follows the students to the new schools, school districts are worse off, financially speaking. That's because school districts say that their costs do not fall as rapidly as does enrollment, although this has been found to be untrue. But under the block grant bill in Kansas, school funding is no longer tied to enrollment, at least for…
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School choice and state spending on schools

School choice and state spending on schools

States like Kansas that are struggling to balance budgets could use school choice programs as a way to save money. When states consider implementing school choice programs, a common objection is that the state can't afford school choice. Public school spending interest groups will tell legislators that school choice programs drain money from already under-funded public schools. School choice, they will say, is a luxury the state can't afford, much less local school districts. Research shows, however, that school choice programs can be constructed in a way that does not harm local school districts. Simply: A typical Kansas school district…
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Rally for school choice in Kansas

Rally for school choice in Kansas

This month, parents and children from around Kansas rallied in the Kansas Capitol for school choice. Speakers included James Franko of Kansas Policy Institute. He told the audience that children deserve better than what they are getting today. For many, he said that might be in a public school, but for many others it may be in a private school. Parents and their children should make that decision. It shouldn't be based on their zip code. Individuals, not institutions, should be the focus. Kansas now has a private school choice program. Franko told the audience that newspaper coverage of this…
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How do school choice programs affect budgets and performance of school districts?

How do school choice programs affect budgets and performance of school districts?

Opponents of school choice programs argue the programs harm school districts, both financially and in their ability to serve their remaining students. Evidence does not support this position. If school choice programs -- charter schools, vouchers, or tax credit scholarships -- harmed the existing public schools, it would be a reasonable argument against school choice. Especially if the students who remain in public schools had less of an opportunity to learn. The prevalent argument is that charter schools and other public school alternatives drain funds from public schools. That is, if a public school student chooses a charter or private…
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Wichita schools seek to rebrand

Wichita schools seek to rebrand

While poormouthing and suing taxpayers for more money, the Wichita school district wants to spend on a rebranding and marketing campaign. The idea that a government agency needs to market itself illustrates a few inconsistencies, as shown below. But spending any money on this effort shows that the district leadership is a little out of touch with the taxpayers. First, taxpayers are being sued for more money by a collection of Kansas school districts, including the Wichita district. So the district is using taxpayer money to extract more taxpayer money, and now it wants to spend more taxpayer money to…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Kansas school finance and reform, Charles Koch on why he fights for liberty

WichitaLiberty.TV: Kansas school finance and reform, Charles Koch on why he fights for liberty

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: The Kansas legislature passed a school finance bill that contains reform measures that the education establishment doesn’t want. In response, our state’s newspapers uniformly support the system rather than Kansas schoolchildren. Then, in the Wall Street Journal Charles Koch explains why liberty is important, and why he’s fighting for that. Episode 39, broadcast April 20, 2014. View below, or click here to view at YouTube.
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In Kansas City, private schools seen as ‘a perversion’

In Kansas City, private schools seen as ‘a perversion’

If you've ever wondered about the difference between public schools and private schools, a top Kansas school administrator knows the difference: David Smith, chief of staff for Kansas City, Kan., public schools, said the bill was targeted at students specifically in low-income districts, including his district. Now, he is trying to figure out what this portion of the bill will mean for public schools. "It is beyond my comprehension how encouraging students to go to a private school serves the public good," Smith said. "It is such a perversion of what it means to serve the public that I don't…
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In Kansas, education is all about money and politics for UMEEA

In Kansas, education is all about money and politics for UMEEA

From Kansas Policy Institute. Education is all about money and politics for UMEEA By Dave Trabert Media reaction to the school finance legislation has been pretty predictable. It focuses almost exclusively on institutions and ignores the impact on students. As usual, it's all about money and politics. Unions, media and their allies in the education establishment (UMEEA) oppose tax credit scholarships for low income students. They rail against taxpayer money going to private schools and how that might mean a little less money for public institutions but ignore the very real purpose and need for the program. (FYI, the scholarship…
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Kansas values, applied to schools

Kansas values, applied to schools

A Kansas public policy advocacy group makes an emotional pitch to petition signers, but signers should first be aware of actual facts. To drum up support for its positions, Kansas Values Institute has started on online petition urging Kansas Governor Sam Brownback to veto HB 2506. Here's the pitch made to potential petition signers: "Governor Brownback has had four years to make schools a priority, but all he has to show for it is classrooms that are over crowded, parents paying rising school fees, and his signature achievement: the largest cut to classrooms in the history of Kansas. The Supreme…
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Kansas newspapers against the children

A Kansas newspaper editorial illustrates that for the establishment, schools -- the institution of public schools, that is -- are more important than students. An unsigned editorial in the Garden City Telegram proclaimed "Another attempt to undermine public schools materialized last week in the Kansas Statehouse." (Legislators turn to ALEC for poor plan on schools, March 25, 2014.) What was in a bill that so worried the Telegram editorial writers? According to the op-ed, the dangerous provisions are "expansion of charter schools, overhaul of teacher licensing and tax breaks for private school scholarships." To the Telegram, these ideas are "radical"…
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