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Archive for Monday, October 26, 2009

State Board of Education chairwoman urges lawmakers to not cut school funding

October 26, 2009

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— State Board of Education Chairwoman Janet Waugh urged lawmakers on Monday not to cut public school funding any further.

“It’s starting to hurt right now,” said Waugh, a Democrat from Kansas City, Kan. “We’re really starting to feel some pain.”

Waugh recommended that before lawmakers slice more dollars from education they should consider a tax increase, even though, she said, she understands people are generally opposed to paying higher taxes.

“But we’re talking about our future here. The future of Kansas and the future of this nation is sitting in these classrooms,” Waugh said.

Because of revenue shortfalls, the state has already reduced base aid by $215 per student, or 4.8 percent this year.

State Sen. Jay Emler, R-Lindsborg, and the chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said schools would probably have to be cut again.

“I see no way around cutting education because that’s the bulk of the budget,” Emler said.

He said he hopes the revenue situation turns around but he isn’t too optimistic.

Comments

Paul R Getto 4 years, 5 months ago

"We are wasting money on an antiquated system." === Some truth to this. I think they will revisit the issue of why we have 105 counties. Some folks may object to driving 100 miles one way to see a county commission meeting, but it could happen. As for schools, there can be more efficiencies, but consolidation was never promoted as a money saver, and probably never will be a big cost saver. The only way to save serious money is to close school buildings and dismiss the teachers who work there. 50%+ of each district's budget goes to teachers, as it should. All of our institutions need a new vision, from the Federal Govt. on down. As we have seen, this can be complicated and difficult. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try, however, just don't look for easy answers or cheap solutions.

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ComradeRedRooster 4 years, 5 months ago

One of the problems with public education is inefficiency. Look at Leavenworth County for example: Tonganoxie, Basehor, Lansing, Easton, Leavenworth and Fort Leavenworth have their own school districts.

These districts have superintendents, assistant superintendents, transportation coordinators, food service coordinators, etc, etc. If Leavenworth were to unify into one district the savings would be millions. Instead of 5 High schools there could be two. Instead of 7 middle schools there could be 4.

Now take this model of consolidation to other counties in Kansas and we are looking at millions in savings.

Now look at counties. We have over 90 counties. They were drawn up when horseback was the mode of transportation. Why do we need to duplicate state offices at all those county offices when we could consolidate many of the counties in Western and Central Kansas.

We are wasting money on an antiquated system.

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bobberboy 4 years, 5 months ago

Education should not be immune to cuts !

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solsken66 4 years, 5 months ago

Why is the state not looking at furloughs as a way to reduce spending? One furlough day every pay period would help cut cost. If they make it on the same day, then there would be a savings on energy cost for the state as well as the employee. This would not affect essential personal such as the State Police or other positions that require a twenty-four hour presence. The state needs to really look at other avenues to reduce spending. Not a good habit to spend more money than actually available. Credit is not an option.

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avoice 4 years, 5 months ago

People do want smaller government. Most people would rather have a job than a hand-out. The more you take away from everyone (not just the wealthy) in taxes, the less there is available to create jobs and payrolls. Many of those who are currently in need of assistance would not be in need if they still had jobs. The more assistance you create, the more assistance you're going to need. Eventually, the majority of people are "on the dole." That is not what the majority want. And those who are out there crying for higher taxes are, obviously, the ones who have more than enough themselves and are in no danger of falling off the precipice of lower-middle-class into the abyss of poverty.

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Paul R Getto 4 years, 5 months ago

[Because we refuse to fund basic services], "I see no way around cutting education because that’s the bulk of the budget,” ==== The senator leaves out the unspoken introductory clause to this statement. We are approaching a day of reckoning and the people must organize to let their representatives know what they really think. Another round of cuts will be destructive and very obvious in the reductions in services to youth, the elderly, the disabled and the very ill. If people really want 'smaller government' they will soon get a bitter taste of what it looks like.

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