Archive for Monday, April 5, 2010

State’s continuing budget crunch means more late payments to school districts

April 5, 2010


— Kansas has delayed some of its monthly aid payments to public schools for the sixth consecutive month.

Budget Director Duane Goossen confirmed Monday that half of the payments due to the state’s 293 school districts Thursday have been postponed.

Goossen said he expects the remaining $71 million to be paid later this month.

Since November, the state’s financial problems have created cash crunches at the beginning of each month, when school payments are due.

But the budget director also says he expects the state to make all of its May payments to schools on time.

The state is still behind on a quarterly payment toward government employees’ pensions due on Jan. 15. The state still owes $55 million of the $70 million due.


Bob_Keeshan 8 years ago

According to the geniuses at the Kansas Policy Institute in Wichita, the State of Kansas could save $700 million if they would just pay these bills on time.

According to them, the State of Kansas could make these payments if it really wanted to thanks to the money tree that grows on the statehouse grounds.

kugrad 8 years ago

It is somewhat dishonest of the State to blame the recession for their late payments. This is something the State of KS has done to schools for years and years. It is not new this year, just more frequent. Even in fine budgetary times, they state of KS has been late paying schools the money they need on time.

PennyBrite 8 years ago

and the late payments to the school this one of the excuses the district is going to use in not telling us that the German language program is being cut from Lawrence public junior highschools?? After the parents threw a fit about the 6th grade band being cut, they decided to keep this cut quiet from no one could complain. CHOP! CHOP! CHOP!'s gone as of this week.......

douglas6280 8 years ago

I have an idea, announce that all public schools will be shuttered for 2010-11 and tell the parents they can educate and supervise their kids for the next school year. That would be good.

PennyBrite 8 years ago

douglas6280, you may have a point! When the school principcles are having these hush hush closed door and don't tell the parent meetings, I wonder if more parents will decide to take their kids out of public schools.

Not only are they canceling German at the junior high level next year, I just found out photography was cut too.

So all of you next year 9th graders who were planning to take German for your 4 years of language requirement for some can't do it in Lawrence!

geekyhost 8 years ago

Or they could stop whining about the state being unfair to rural districts (which they are) and raise our mil levy. The cost would be about $56 per year per $100k of house value, if I did my math right from the earlier estimates.

Richard Payton 8 years ago

What does Moore know? If Brownback knew anything do you think he would talk? Paulette Koch must give so much for the tax write off.

conservative 8 years ago

It should surprise noone that programs are being cut by the school district. The SONS group managed to get enough pressure on the board that they caved and didn't do the responsible thing of closing underutilized and overly expensive small schools. As a result they cut other programs, increased student to teacher ratios, raided funds for buying newer texts, and will still be faced with a bad budget problem for next year.

PennyBrite 8 years ago

conservative, I agree! The SONS, in an effort to save the younger kids, will now make it that when their kids are the age of the junior high and highschool aged kids are now, they will realize what they've done is a dis-service to all. What makes me most mad is that I have been learning little by little what is REALLY going on this week.........a lot of closed door meetings of principles and vice principles and no parents have been allowed to know......... CHOP! CHOP! CHOP! Why so secretive? Because they don't want the parents to raise a ruckus like they did over 6th grade band. Doesn't anyone care? Without 9th grade German 1 next year, no current 8th graders (9th graders next year) will be allowed to have FOUR years of German. If they need 4 years for college, they will have to choose a different language. Dr Doll has said that when (not if) the 9th graders are at the highschool, they can reinstate German1 for 9th grade. But what about next years 9th graders? They are flat out of luck. I heard today that the KU honors programs ranks school districts by multiple criteria, including 4-year languages in German, French, and Spanish. If Lawrence cuts German back from the 9th graders, Lawrence will fall behind Topeka, Wichita, and Johnson County.

Alfred_W 8 years ago

Yes, after all that talk from SONS about the benefits of neighborhood schools...we find out it is to come at the expense of providing a complete language program at the high school level. I know I'll take heat for this, but the cuts being made at the upper levels are far worse for the long term health of the district than closing underpoplulated schools. Slipping rankings for the district and lost opportunities for students on ALL sides of town.

Did you know that many competitive schools specify German as the supporting language of choice for numerous degree programs? They want not just students with a foreign language, but specify German in their guides. And as PennyBright said, lots of colleges require not just four years of language, but four consecutive years in the SAME language. This change would tell students who aspire to those institutions of higher learning that German is not for them.

So when you see those neighborhood school signs out in peoples' yards, be sure to pull over and politely thank them for their selfishness. 6th grade band was saved, hopefully 9th grade German can be as well. If the district is serious about moving the freshmen to the senior high schools for the 2011-12 school year then they need to help the junior highs find a way to keep the first year of language in 9th grade for one more year. Otherwise, the class of 2014 will have lost some of the competitive edge that previous classes have enjoyed.

tomatogrower 8 years ago

PennyBrite (anonymous) says… and the late payments to the school this one of the excuses the district is going to use in not telling us that the German language program is being cut from Lawrence public junior highschools?? After the parents threw a fit about the 6th grade band being cut, they decided to keep this cut quiet from no one could complain. chop! chop! chop!'s gone as of this week.......

Why are all of you blaming the school district. If you haven't gotten the word yet the state legislature has cut so many taxes that there is no money. It's not the recession. It takes money to have German and photography. There will be teachers laid off because of these cuts. If you want these programs, email your reps. Or better still, email all the legislators who are in the back pockets of companies like Koch Industries. If you know anyone in their districts, get them to tell their reps that they have lost their votes. This is the state's fault. And they want to pass a bill that would force local school districts to raise property taxes. That way they can say they didn't raise taxes. They are a bunch of career politicians who think if they don't raise taxes, they will get reelected. Let them know that we know what they are doing, and they aren't going to get reelected.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

We taxpayers cannot afford the luxury lifestyle of USD 497. The luxury admin building and the luxury new athletic project.

We can afford our school buildings. As one student put it education is an investment in the future.

One more time:

Be bold and close down the admin building instead of closing educational buildings. We need schools for education. USD 497 can live without their Taj Majal to transact business.

The admin building is STILL a building to close. Let's get it on the market ASAP.

Administrative Services Expenditures

Close down the admin building, reduce the numbers at Administrative Services Expenditures and move the admin into an existing USD 497 structure such as the current virtual school location.

SELL the admin building, APPLY those funds to the cost of the new sports facilities and the admin building goes back on the property tax list all of which is a plus for WE USD 497 taxpayers.

Why procrastinate with our big USD 497 government tax dollars? The writing is on the wall. Stop closing the school buildings. The other day friends of my daughter were unhappy because they hear Central Junior High is on the chopping block. This after USD 497 spent a fair amount of OUR tax dollars on that beautiful institution.

Stephen Roberts 8 years ago

Merrill" You have kids?? Oh no, I sure hope they do not go to public school. maybe you should spend more time working so you can pay in taxes.

PennyBrite 8 years ago

tomato grower says "Why are all of you blaming the school district. If you haven't gotten the word yet the state legislature has cut so many taxes that there is no money."

The state legislature isn't forcing the public schools to have closed door meetings keeping things hush hush from parents and the citizens of Lawrence. They are teaching OUR children. I think parents have a right to know what is on the chopping clock and what isnt.

The most recent one chopped is now sewing at the junior high level.

I feel like this is a game show --COME ONE COME ALL SPIN THE WHEEL AND CHOP A CLASS.Spin the wheel and it lands on photography. CHOP-GONE! Spin again and it lands on German. CHOP-GONE! Spin again and it lands on sewing. CHOP-GONE!

Spin again and it lands on............anyone have any predictions which classes are next to go?

Thinking_Out_Loud 8 years ago



You know, my grandmother used to have a cuckoo block that she brought over from the old country. I think we have it in the attic. I'm going to go look for it now.

Paul R Getto 8 years ago

PB: Good question. If the downward trend for state-level financial support continues, who knows how much will be cut? The only thing required is basic instruction. High schools need to teach the courses required by the Regents for Admission to University, but just about everything else will be up for grabs. For example: 72-1101. Required subjects in elementary schools. Every accredited elementary school shall teach reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, spelling, English grammar and composition, history of the United States and of the state of Kansas, civil government and the duties of citizenship, health and hygiene, together with such other subjects as the state board may determine. The state board shall be responsible for the selection of subject matter within the several fields of instruction and for its organization into courses of study and instruction for the guidance of teachers, principals and superintendents.

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