Letters to the Editor

Education funds

April 1, 2009


To the editor:

The March 26 Journal-World front page says it all. A teacher makes a deal with a pizza restaurant in order that students have writing paper. Lawmakers are confused about the size of education cuts. The Kansas University Athletic Department has $24 million to spend building an Olympic Village.

I worry about the future of our country.

Payne is from Oskaloosa


RoeDapple 8 years, 9 months ago

Bill, I don't like it either. But you're mixing apples and oranges here. The "Olympic Village" is being funded by private donations. If you were to provide materials for your child's classroom through private donations I'm sure no one would complain.

jafs 8 years, 9 months ago


Why is it that athletic programs seem to have little trouble raising large sums of money while basic teaching materials are lacking?

Music_Girl 8 years, 9 months ago

I agree jafs! It is ridiculous that teachers have to try to get by with minimal materials, outdated books, etc while the athletics departments get new uniforms, new equipment, etc. Just like so many other things in this country, our priorities are out of line. The mind is a terrible thing to waste. Don't get me wrong I do believe that exercise, good sportsman like conduct, and team work skills are important but there needs to be balance.

RoeDapple 8 years, 9 months ago

Many are under the misconception that a university with a strong athletic program will bring in money for education. Wrong! It brings in money for the athletic program. Why doesn't KU raise funds for infrastructure repair and upgrade? Because very few would contribute. Contributors want their names associated with beautiful new structures, not urinal replacement or new dry boards for class rooms.

avoice 8 years, 9 months ago

Simple solution: Start charging people to send their kids to school. One of the reasons people have money sitting around to invest in athletics programs is because, even though they are and have always been wealthy, their children were schooled (I shrink from saying educated) for 13 years at absolutely no cost other than the mill levy in whatever burg they lived in. As with all other government programs, education should be subsidized on a needs basis. If you can afford to foot the bill yourself, you should be required to do so. From there, it's a sliding scale of increasing subsidy for decreasing income levels. Taxpayers still subsidize public schools through the mill levy, but at a much lower rate. And parents become the "owners" of their own children's educations -- not Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and the state and federal governments.

BigDog 8 years, 9 months ago

Why comparing it to universities Bill? Why are Lawrence schools looking to build new athletic facilities and not taking care of basic education needs?

It isn't always about more money for K-12 education .... sometimes it is about priorities in how these tax payer funds are used. Tax payers should be provided with details online as to how education dollars are spent by each individual school. Spending breakdowns are required of all other state funded agencies ..... and K-12 education makes up over half of the state budget.

patchley 8 years, 9 months ago

Please repeat after me:

"The KU Athletics CORPORATION is not a state entity."

As a member of the academic community, it burns me up when people think the huge salaries or expensive buildings of basketball or football are somehow related to the academic budget.
They are not. While we are taking pay cuts or pay freezes because of our budget, the KU Athletics CORPORATION is completely able to spend whatever money it has from private sources, ticket sales, TV fees, and branding.

KSManimal 8 years, 9 months ago

BigDog -

School budgets ARE available online. It's public record, all you have to do is LOOK for them.

Paul R Getto 8 years, 9 months ago

Sports is the new religion; that's why large amounts of money follow the sports cults. Education has never been important enough to generate this kind of support, and probably never will. That being said, the small amount public schools spend on sports and activities is well spent and both the students and the general public reap a definite benefit.

Stephen Roberts 8 years, 9 months ago

KSManimal- You are correct the school budgets are online or you can request them from district. Has anyone actually reviewed them? The budgets are extremely complex and the majority of the information is useless.

I have asked the admin how much is spent on athletics. They were unable to tell me or they didn't want the public to know.

By the way, I am a CPA with over 10 years of accounting, including budgeting and fund accounting.

notajayhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

avoice (Anonymous) says…

"One of the reasons people have money sitting around to invest in athletics programs is because, even though they are and have always been wealthy, their children were schooled (I shrink from saying educated) for 13 years at absolutely no cost other than the mill levy in whatever burg they lived in."

Spoken as someone who obviously has no children in public schools.

The 'public' school my child attends charges enrollment fees, book fees, activity fees, and sends home what seems to be almost weekly fundraising packets to guilt parents into sending more money (or else have their child be the only one in the class who doesn't 'win' a 'prize' worth about 12 cents).

And by the way, somehow it seems somewhat incongruous to have people who have always been wealthy living in burgs and sending their kids to public school.

Aileen Dingus 8 years, 9 months ago

This problem is NOTHING new. My grandmother taught school for a good chunk of the 1900s- retiring in the late 1960s. She had to teach kids to read from comic books because there weren't enough text books and she taught them to write on the backs of used ballots because there wasn't enough paper. She went on a game show (Queen for a Day) to try and win milk for all her students every day. She and her foster kids slept on cots at the school building site because there wasn't enough money left after the lumber was bought to hire a security guard to watch it overnight.

Academics receiving the short end of the dollar is nothing new, and sadly, nothing unusual.

Left_handed 8 years, 9 months ago

When I went to school we provided our own writing paper. Maybe that's part of the problem.

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