Archive for Sunday, September 24, 2006

Candidates spar over school funding

September 24, 2006


— Will the $466 million, three-year school funding increase break the state budget?

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Barnett says it will. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, says it won't.

The major assumption Barnett uses is that the state will experience 4 percent growth in tax receipts annually for the next several years. And that all other spending priorities remain constant.

Under that scenario, the state general fund would be anywhere from $200 million to $500 million short in 2009, according to figures provided by the Kansas Legislative Research Department.

That 4 percent growth rate is a standard one used by state budget officials, but that standard rate is rarely correct, and it is frequently adjusted as more real information becomes available.

In the past three fiscal years, state tax receipts have increased 5.9 percent, 7.6 percent and most recently 12.9 percent.

Another budget scenario pushed by supporters of the school plan assumes state tax receipts will grow 5.5 percent per year.

It also adds into the budget's base the fact that unpredicted growth during the past 14 months has added another $100 million to the state's all purpose general fund.

Under those assumptions, the state general fund would stay above the deficit line, but not by much - $34 million.

Of course, there are other ways to avoid shortfalls, such as cutting the budget in other areas, finding savings through efficiencies, reducing the amount of tax cuts approved this year, raising taxes or finding other methods of increasing revenue, such as the proposal to expand casino gambling.


haspas 11 years, 5 months ago

To: ksknowall: When logic and reasoning fail, one always resorts to trite phrases and personal sarcasm.

Sacerdotal 11 years, 5 months ago

The legislature won't even fund the numbers from the studies they commissioned to tell them what it would take to be "constitutional."

haspas 11 years, 5 months ago

$466 million in new school finance over 3 years??? Where does THIS number come from? I have seen differing numbers in every press account. But Alan Rupe says he provided $1 billion, in justifying his legal fees.

Any reader can download Dale Dennis' (the highly-reputable data director for the KS Dept of Education) spreadsheet which he provided to the Legislative Conference Committee at the time of passage, and see the actual additional spending OVER THREE YEARS IS $1 billion.

Why is this number consistently understated in the press?

We surely are not afraid of the truth------are we?????

haspas 11 years, 5 months ago

"The group has received more than $3.2 million in public funds during that time and has won a pair of favorable Kansas Supreme Court rulings, resulting in more than $800 million in new school spending by the Legislature."

This is a direct quote from a Topeka Cap Journal news article of 9/25/06 about whether certaion publicly-funded lobbying records are public. BUT notice, we have yet another figure of how much money the Legislature actually appropriated--LJW said on Sunday it was $466 million. In one day it has grown to $800 million. Does anyone else wonder why reporters can't add? Or perhaps, why they think they don't dare!

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