Archive for Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Proposed state budget that would have cut education further lacks support

May 6, 2009, 10:15 a.m. Updated May 6, 2009, 6:08 p.m.

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— A proposed budget that would have cut deeper into education didn’t get off the ground on Wednesday.

House Republican leaders backed off debating the measure after it appeared there wasn’t a majority to support it.

The bill, approved on Tuesday by Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee, would have cut public schools by approximately $150 million and higher education by $40 million.

Combined with other cuts, the legislation was a response to the $328 million budget deficit as lawmakers completed the eighth day of their wrap-up session.

But Kansas Board of Regents Chairwoman Donna Shank described the measure as “the most damaging budget proposal yet to surface.”

The Kansas Association of School Boards issued a release that said the proposal “makes the deepest cut in education funding so far.”

The organization added: “Further education cuts will weaken the state’s greatest economic development asset: a strong education system and highly educated work force.”

The KASB said the House committee proposal was worse than one approved Tuesday by the full Senate that would reduce public school funding by 2.75 percent.

Shank added that the House committee proposal would cause long-term damage to colleges.

House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence said there may be a move today in the House to simply adopt the lesser cut in the Senate budget plan.

“We have to talk with the moderate Republicans and see where they are at on that,” he said.

Meanwhile, it appeared Gov. Mark Parkinson, a Democrat, has backed off his proposal to “decouple” state tax breaks as part of federal tax breaks under the stimulus plan. The move would increase state revenue by $78 million, but Republicans have roundly rejected the idea.

Comments

maxcrabb 7 years, 11 months ago

Give our education system the bail out. Screw GM and AIG.

situveux1 7 years, 11 months ago

48% increase in ed spending since 2003. I think they can handle 2 or 3%.

Shardwurm 7 years, 11 months ago

"It's for our poor, poor, children!"

I get so sick of this crap from the Education Industry. It's not about the kids - it's about salaries. And if you think there aren't very qualified teachers out there looking to get a job at a reasonable salary you're mistaken.

Ask some of the schools in the area - one of them had 200 applicants for one teaching job.

Do more with less like the rest of us and quit lying and saying it's about the kids. It has nothing to do with them or improving their education. It has everything to do with pay raises.

oohmgrover 7 years, 11 months ago

They had 200 applicants because no schools can afford to hire new candidates to fill empty spots, increasing class sizes.

getreal 7 years, 11 months ago

Shardwurm - Do you work in a school? Do you have any idea the spectrum of students our schools serve? Are you aware of all the federal and state mandates that are required of our schools? Kansas schools rank in the top 10% consistently on all measures, yet teacher salaries rank in the bottom 25%. Businesses have been receiving quite a bargain for years in the form of an outstanding well prepared work force.

I'm not a teacher, nor am I employed by any school district. I have however benefited from the well prepared workforce as a previous business owner.

The Kansas Chamber and its rhetoric is about to bite the hand that feeds it.

Starving the education system and dumbing down our students is not the ladder to success. It's plain stupidity and the path to economic disaster.

LowDown 7 years, 11 months ago

Okay, explain why every taxpayer in the State of Kansas should pay for a kid's education? The parents had the kids, the parents are the ones who get the annual tax deduction for the kids, so why is it the other single people's responsibility to pay for your kid to get an education? This funding of schools is nothing more than a form of socialism and entitlements. The parents should be the individuals responsible for kicking in the money to put their kid through school, not someone who made a concious decision to not have kids. To top it off, then the school districts spend the tax payers money to hire lobbyists and lawyers to ask for even more money. Save your pennies and pay for an education, not a lobbyist or attorney. This action was taking away from your little precious children so hold the districts that hired these people accountable, not those who never have had a kid that used a public scholl in the state. Your districts are the ones who are squandering your tax dollar with the high administrative salaries, the teachers getting paid the wages they get (sure wish I had that kind of time off each year with pay), and always wanting the new and greatest of everything out there. New buildings, football stadiums, where do these improve the quality of an education. Turn your focus to the people in the districts for answers, don't point a finger, It isn't someone else's fault, it's the people who elect the school board that approves the salaries. I say, cut the administration's pay, pay the treachers for only the hours that they actually work and not the spring break, the Thanksgiving break, the Christmas break, the inservice days, and the summer. If you aren't working, you aren't drawing a pay check, it's only fair. Teachers are a huge drain on society and feel that they need more. Why?? They've got one of the best gigs going with all the time off they get. Show me another job with this kind of time off, I'm looking to get paid to work while I'm sitting at home so maybe there are more opportunities out there than I thought. It's another form of welfare people, open your eyes. parents… kick in the money, pay for your own kid's education and quit trying to suckle the fat cow.

Aileen Dingus 7 years, 11 months ago

Lowdown- I hope you never need a doctor. Or a fire fighter. Or a lawyer or pharmacist or any other educated professional.

cthulhu_4_president 7 years, 11 months ago

Lowdown: you type very well, and you have fantastic grammar. You must have had a good teacher or two.
What a shame.


"Show me another job with this kind of time off...."

"Senator" and "President of the USA" comes directly to mind.

situveux1 7 years, 11 months ago

48% increase in ed spending since 2003. They can handle a cut.

MyName 7 years, 11 months ago

"Teachers are a huge drain on society and feel that they need more."

LOL how about prisoners and welfare recipients? Aren't they a drain on society? That's what happens to people who don't get a good education.

MyName 7 years, 11 months ago

situveux1:

"48% increase in ed spending since 2003. They can handle a cut."

Not that I'm arguing against any cut at all, but the reason they had the budget increases was because the State lost a court case that showed education was being significantly underfunded in this state.

And somehow I think cutting their budget by 1/8th is just a ticket to another lawsuit.

ksteacher 7 years, 11 months ago

Lowdown says "pay the treachers for only the hours that they actually work and not the spring break, the Thanksgiving break, the Christmas break, the inservice days, and the summer. If you aren't working, you aren't drawing a pay check, it's only fair."

Since you obviously don't know how this works, let me clarify it for you. We DO only get paid for the hours that we work. If we get paid during the summer it's because we've chosen to take the salary for the worked hours and stretch it out over the entire year. So we actually get paid for less that the hours worked so that the rest can be spread out over the summer.

We're not paid for Christmas Break (except for the actual holiday itself)--our salary is just stretched out.

You obviously don't know much about how the salary system works in public education and from the sound of your post, we're thankful that you're not a part of the system.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 11 months ago

It is ironic that the very people who have been underserved by our educational system (e.g. idiots above) sit at their computer (invented by educated people) and type poorly-written rants about the lack of value of education spending.

Let's call a spade a spade and be truthful. Dumb is dumb, and the mouth-breathers who posted above are dumber than a bag of hammers. It is obvious in their poorly-argued and childishly-written screeds against the backbone of civil society, education.

justthefacts 7 years, 11 months ago

For those who believe the elite rich kids are the only ones being hurt, or the poor who don't deserve help b/c they won't work, keep in mind that in a down economy (like the one we are experiencing right now) there is an increased demand for "trade"/vocation training from those who cannot find even the most minimal pay jobs. So not just the K-12 schools and Universities are getting the short stick.

The community colleges, technical colleges (and yes even private schools such as Phoenix or Wright, etc.) are going to see a big increase in students. People who are out of work and can't find a job without new training. Kids who cannot afford to go to a University but can't get a job without additional training. There will be even more people wanting some kind of job training. And they can't afford the tuition as it is, let alone what it will have to increase up to b/c the state has (again) decreased its tax support of such schools. And most private lenders have gotten out of the student loan business. So good luck turning the economy around by cutting back on re-training workers.

Too bad that those who need to get trained won't be able to afford it. Guess some would rather see bread lines and ghost towns (ala the Great Depression) then give up a few other things they don't really need. Just remember, if you don't stand up for others, there will be no one left to stand up for you when it's your turn to need help.

justthefacts 7 years, 11 months ago

P.S. the Legislators continue to pay big bucks to up-date their own office space in Topeka. Oh and don't forget the sweet deal they gave themselves on buying their "used" computers back without going thru the normal competitive bid laws that apply to most sales of public property - 2009 SB 30 http://www.kslegislature.org/supplemental/2010/SN0030.pdf

Maybe if they give up being treated special (e.g. donate back some of the extra per diem pay they get for every day they delay finishing up their work) we could afford to pay a few more poor person's tuition bills!

middleoftheroad 7 years, 11 months ago

I'm thankful for those that are fighting back on this issue. When the economy heads south, the demand for education goes through the roof! By taking funding away from an area that is already under-supported, the quality of education will plumet. Please encourage your representatives to look toward other areas for money - not the one area that demand has risen!

beawolf 7 years, 11 months ago

yourworstnightmare,

Very well put. Those that have never taken advantage of the educational opportunities available to them are the first to complain about the cost of providing that education.

It was reported awhile back that the USA is now the least educated of the major industrial nations. Asia and Europe both surpass the US in the range of the number of years spent in primary, secondary and tertiary education. What we consider to be a bachelor's degree is a high school diploma in Japan.

Instead of cuts, we should be putting billions of dollars back in to the K-12 and high ed systems. By the time society realizes how poorly educated we are, it will be to late.

thelonious 7 years, 11 months ago

LowDown -

You give much to reply to, but I'll just pick off a couple of the easier points:

"Okay, explain why every taxpayer in the State of Kansas should pay for a kid's education?" - The answer to this is that society has decided that it is in the best interest of society that all members of society receive a basic education. This should be self-evident, but you apparently either 1) goofed off during civics class or 2) got a private education and are filled up with a little too much superiority complex for your own good.

"Teachers are a huge drain on society and feel that they need more. Why?? They've got one of the best gigs going with all the time off they get." - My wife teaches high school English to AP (advanced placement) kids in a large KC metro district. Here is her normal day - Up at 5:30 AM, out the door by 7 AM to get to school by 7:30 AM, classes end by 3 PM but usually does not leave school until 4:30 PM or 5 PM, after dinner spends 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM grading papers or reading for the next day's assignments. You obviously do not have any idea what you are talking about. You ought to do some research before you go shooting off you mouth like a fool.

By the way, her pay for all of this, considering she has 5 years HS teaching experience, plus 6 years teaching college freshmen as a grad assistant at KU while getting her master's and ABD (all but dissertation) on her Ph.D, isn't enough for her to afford an average-priced house in this area if she were single.

I fail to see how our society is paying teachers too well or investing too much in education. If you would like to live in a society where only the wealthy can get an education, I suggest you look into any number of third-world countires where that is inded the case.

dandelion 7 years, 11 months ago

LowDown (Anonymous) says… Okay, explain why every taxpayer in the State of Kansas should pay for a kid's education? The parents had the kids, the parents are the ones who get the annual tax deduction for the kids, so why is it the other single people's responsibility to pay for your kid to get an education?

Who paid for your eduction moron?

storm 7 years, 11 months ago

"The Kansas Association of School Boards issued a release that said the proposal “makes the deepest cut in education funding so far.” OH No, know more sport's, so's their, there, they're, we need's better bleachur's. why wat els culd they spend $ on?

getreal 7 years, 11 months ago

LowDown your statements are ridiculous at best.

I've probably never driven down the street that you live on, yet I help pay for it to be maintained. Is that socialism too?

Taxes are the common wealth for the common good. Just because you choose not use a public service, does not make the rest of us who do - socialists.

You are simply an angry, bitter individual who is lacking in education and social skills. Don't worry though, our tax dollars will be happy to pay for you to seek help.

I just hope you get it soon and learn to enjoy all that life and especially a quality education has to offer.

dandelion 7 years, 11 months ago

The problem is you see a lot of schools spending money on sports, and they just say "It's not the same budget we use for teacher." Does anyone out there know who decides what percent of the budget goes to teachers and educational supplies? And what part goes towards sports? My sister is being told they can't make as many photocopies for the kids next year, but there's plenty of money in the budget for new uniforms for the football team. She has been very upset lately. Those hundreds of applicants may start dwindling soon, as people decide education just isn't considered important in Kansas.

Thinking_Out_Loud 7 years, 11 months ago

LowDown wondered "...why is it the other single people's responsibility to pay for your kid to get an education?"

First, the way the question is asked is pretty poor--it tries to force a simplistic answer instead of being a good question that engages dialogue.

More importantly, though, is that it is in the interest of a democratic society to have an educated populace making its decisions at the ballot box.

There are other reasons, of course, but that's the most compelling one.

beawolf 7 years, 11 months ago

dandelion,

You bring up a valid argument. I played sports, my children played sports and I was a HS coach for 20 years, but I am a proponent of "pay to play", with exceptions for those with limited incomes. Sports booster clubs need to take a greater role in raising funds for HS athletics. That said, some larger schools do have a self sustaining athletic budget.

booyalab 7 years, 11 months ago

"Whenever people talk glibly of a need to achieve educational "excellence," I think of what an improvement it would be if our public schools could just achieve mediocrity."

"Letters from teachers continue to confirm the incompetence which they deny. A teacher in Montana says that my criticisms of teachers are "nieve." No, that wasn't a typographical error. He spelled it that way twice. "

  • Thomas Sowell

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 11 months ago

The smugness with which the faux libertarian fools dismiss public education is quite laughable.

It is quite easy to look back and not acknowledge how one has benefited from a society, and to dismiss that same society as ineffective.

This is childishness and selfishness, to impetuously dismiss the very things that have benefited one in the past. To expect that it will not benefit others in the future is simply foolish.

Yes, it is hip and cool to emulate Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, to feel like a self-made man not in need of anything. It is also foolish.

llama726 7 years, 11 months ago

Lowdown is a freaking troll... 'nuff said, stop feeding it and it will go away.

Steve Jacob 7 years, 11 months ago

Nobody wants to raise taxes, and no one wants to cut spending. We are screwed.

LowDown 7 years, 11 months ago

I wasn't implying that education be done away with totally. I think that the cost to educate a kid should be placed upon the parents. Base the fee on the household income, and at a certain low point, the state pays for it. If your kid wants to play sports, the parents pony the bucks up. Why should the school be saddled with entertaining your kids after hours? The use of school facilities, school staff, school resources is an unreasonable burden on the system. Sure some donate their time but what about the utilities to light the court, field, locker rooms, etc.? What about the custodial staff that have to work to clean up after your brats because the parents have never taught them to clean up after themselves? What about the toilet paper, paper towels, and trash bags? What about the wear and tear on school facilities such as the bathroom fixtures, the plumbing, the floors, the drives and parking areas? These are all expenses that increase with use. Some may say, I pay taxes so I have a right to use these facilities, to which I agree as long as there is no coneyance of expense to the school. But, in the end the taxes don't cover the rising costs of replacements,upgrades, and maintenance due to the increased use. A primary education should be required for all kids but any vocational or secondary education should be totally on the recipient, not the state. Does the state directly benefit from this training? A lot of education is lost on many kids who choose not to want to learn and this even prevents others from obtaining a quality education. Why should society waste monies on educating someone who has no desire to show up for class or even attempt to pass a course? I don't understand the reasoning behind it. Should we force feed education to a kid that has no desire to be something later in life. I guess if you beat it into their heads maybe something will seep in. By the way getreal.......you don't pay to maintain my street, I live on a private road that the residents maintain. You'll never see a city, county, or state maintenance crew even drive down it. The residents maintain the driving surface, they remove the snow and anything else that may be needed out of thier own pockets. This neighborhood doesn't mooch off of the government handout. BUT...I'm stil required to pay taxes to help maintain your road though even if I don't drive on them. You can thank me later.

LiberalDude 7 years, 11 months ago

“48% increase in ed spending since 2003. They can handle a cut.”

situveux1- where did you get this 48% number. Can you support this with facts? I think you are very wrong.

cthulhu_4_president 7 years, 11 months ago

Lowdown, quite a change of tone from your first nasty little tirade. Now you're switching off from teachers to facilities, and k-12 to higher ed now? Why? Perhaps the stance was changed when you realized how far down your throat your foot was.

However, regarding your thoughts on universities :"Why should society waste monies on educating someone who has no desire to show up for class or even attempt to pass a course? " Indeed, this is true. So how should we identify these problem students and weed them out to save you money. Well, we need people to monitor students first for risky behavior, then we need a way to identify at-risk students, then we need intervention programs, and then finally we kick them out of school. Whew! And all it took was the creation of an entire department, hiring of staff, payment of man-hours to find, intervene, and expel said students, equipment, yadda yadda. Gee, this process is getting awefully expensive. That money will have to come from somewhere. You think the cost of all this will be offset by the taxpayer money saved on losers who are kicked out? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps, though, the issue isn't as black-and-white as it is inside your head.

Regarding these hilarious final comments: "…….you don't pay to maintain my street, blah blah blah...BUT…I'm stil required to pay taxes to help maintain your road though even if I don't drive on them"

You don't drive on any public streets, ever?? I must ask how you accomplish this feat. It's a neat trick, to be sure.

Aileen Dingus 7 years, 11 months ago

Lowdown- you think parents don't already pay for their children's extracurricular activities? Let me send you a copy of my son's school fee invoices...

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