Archive for Monday, January 19, 2009

GOP insists schools can take budget cuts

January 19, 2009


— In the current state budget debate, Republican legislative leaders say public school funding can be cut without hurting classroom instruction.

“We are sensitive to cuts in education,” said House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson. “We don’t want any of our cuts to affect instruction, and we think that can be done.”

O’Neal said from about 60 percent to 65 percent of school budgets are “instructional dollars.”

He and other Republicans have argued that funding cuts can be made on the noninstructional side.

But Mark Tallman, a lobbyist for the Kansas Association of School Boards, said what constitutes instructional funding and noninstructional funding often is up for debate.

Under the federal government’s definition, instructional funding includes salaries for teachers and paraprofessionals, instructional supplies and extracurricular activities, he said.

“Sports is considered a classroom but libraries are not” under the federal definition, he said.

He said often such items as school safety, transportation, food service, utility bills and insurance aren’t considered instructional expenses, yet they are needed to operate a school.

Several states are looking at proposals that would require schools to spend at least 65 percent of their funds on classroom expenses.

But Lawrence Superintendent Randy Weseman described such an effort as “a simplistic answer to a complex question.”

He said nurses, counselors and other support staff are not considered in the definition of classroom expenses. Yet, he said, those positions are ones that schools are expected to have.


Ragingbear 9 years, 4 months ago

Translation "Stupid people vote Republican".

ockhamsrazor 9 years, 4 months ago

Simplistic is right. Mike O'Neal's 65% solution is idiotic. In a medical setting, with his logic, surgeons and patients don't need hospitals or surgical equipment for operations and ambulances are unnecessary.These school cuts won't heal... Remember who is responsible for this lunacy when you go to the polls.

situveux1 9 years, 4 months ago

I wouldn't mind seeing some consolidation. Do we really need 300+ superintendents?

Bob_Keeshan 9 years, 4 months ago

@situveux1No we do not.To expand, Wichita has one school district but Overland Park has two? Each with a superintendent making as much as the one in Wichita?Consolidation of administrators while maintaining the local control of a school district's board is a progressive idea.

jayhawklawrence 9 years, 4 months ago

You have to admire the brilliance of these people who come up with such twists of logic as instructional and non-instructional and then proceed to tell us we can cut out the one without harming the other.

deskboy04 9 years, 4 months ago

How much does the food service director make?

jayhawklawrence 9 years, 4 months ago

duplenty:In answer to your question I have provided the following link;, anyone can google Sebelius budget cuts. If only Bush had not cut taxes during a war, we wouldn't be so broke right now.

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