Archive for Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Statehouse Live: Brownback’s budget director has recommended lower taxes, higher tuition, vouchers

December 8, 2010


— Lower taxes, higher tuition, and using tax dollars to send students to private schools are among some of the recommendations that have been made in the past by Gov.-elect Sam Brownback's choice to be the state's top budget official.

Steve Anderson, a certified public accountant from Edmond, Okla., was named Wednesday as the new state budget director.

Related document

Americans for Prosperity "model budget" ( .PDF )

The state budget director works for the governor and puts together a budget proposal for the governor and Legislature to consider. Brownback, a Republican, will be sworn into office Jan. 10, and his proposed budget will be delivered shortly afterward.

Anderson has been working as a consultant for the past several years with Americans for Prosperity, an organization founded by billionaire David Koch, which espouses cuts in taxes, regulations and the size of government.

Earlier this year, Anderson and the Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity proposed what it called a "model budget" for the state of Kansas.

In that document, AFP said the biggest problem with the budget is "unconstrained growth of state spending."

The "model budget" calls for a cut in the state income tax, cuts in state spending, including Medicaid, and a voucher program where tax dollars would be used to pay tuition for students to attend private schools. The plan also called for a program to allow tax credits for donations to scholarship funds for low-income children to attend private schools.

The plan also recommended higher tuition at public universities and schools. "There is no reason to tax the majority in the state who do not have children attending a state institution in order to subsidize those who do, especially when there is evidence it is the more affluent citizens who are more likely to have children enrolled in higher education," the document said.

The plan also said the government pension system should be changed to a 401 (k) type system, and called for more privatizing of government functions, such as prisons.


naturalist 6 years ago

Something about "tax" and "private" that don't go together....

SeanS 6 years ago

Well there's something about forcing kids to receive a liberal education on my tax dollars that doesn't sit too well with me. Let's have it one way or the other, you have everyone pay for their own school or the government gives you the option.

SeanS 6 years ago

A little Ku Kluxer school? I love your ignorance, actually I pity it but it's good for a laugh. And to edjayhawk that's the point, taxpayers didn't pay for my education my parents paid for my education at a private school and they paid taxes for public school that we didn't use. Thanks for proving my point!

Carol Bowen 6 years ago

Good point. The defense is usually that funding kids in private schools would cause public schools to lose money. On the other hand, public schools cannot charge tuition. I am not totally against education money following the student except for religious and other targeted classes. Where would we find the money to fund this? Our state is not funding education adequately, now.

TopJayhawk 5 years, 12 months ago

The state is funding education adequatly. Especially after the shake down Sebelius put on us a few yrs ago. School boards waste money prodigeously.

SeanS 5 years, 12 months ago

Go back to school and get a real education? The education I received at private school is the only reason I have a 3.5 GPA at KU and am graduating this spring with my BS in Economics. While many of my friends from Lawrence public schools are struggling through college talking about the lack of education they feel they received from Lawrence schools, and no they're not little Ku Kluxer Christians with a bias.

Centerville 6 years ago

I see Scott has finally received his marching orders.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years ago

I would like to see this explained. What "marching orders," to report on a state budget that has been previously submitted by the new state budget director?

Or are you ashamed of the changes that you appear to support?

The criticisms of this reporter always fascinate me, as all he is doing is clearly reporting the regressive positions of certain elected officials and their staff in Topeka. Is there something reported here that is false?

valgrlku 6 years ago

I certainly don't want my tax dollars subsidizing vouchers for "private" K-12 schools which can wantonly discriminate and enroll only those they choose to. Why would any taxpayers or leaders think that this is a good idea, especially when we can't seem to afford public education as it is?

Couldn't this statement also be used to argue against vouchers as well? Just replace "state institution" and "higher education" with "private school": "There is no reason to tax the majority in the state who do not have children attending a state institution in order to subsidize those who do, especially when there is evidence it is the more affluent citizens who are more likely to have children enrolled in higher education," the document said.

KSManimal 6 years ago

"There is no reason to tax the majority in the state who do not have children attending a state institution in order to subsidize those who do,"

So.....only those folks earning degrees benefit from society having some college-educated people? yeah...... And, likewise, there is no reason to tax the majority in the state who do not have children attending private K-12 schools in order to subsidize those who do. Wait....

"especially when there is evidence it is the more affluent citizens who are more likely to have children enrolled in higher education,"

Perhaps because the less affluent can't afford it?

Feral-American logic is very entertaining.

Carol Bowen 6 years ago

"There is no reason to tax the majority in the state who do not have children attending a state institution in order to subsidize those who do, especially when there is evidence it is the more affluent citizens who are more likely to have children enrolled in higher education," the document said. "

So much for the land of opportunity. The state of Kansas does not value education. Interesting, since education is the second largest "industry" in the state. Agriculture is the first.

The voucher option in private schools might be possible, but you're right, where's the money?

Ralph Reed 6 years ago

Read that as Brownback's goal to destroy public education. I'll agree with vouchers when "private" schools are required to accept all students just as public school are.

Brownstripe: Let's price people out of higher education. If they can't afford college, we won't have to pay them as much. Also, if they're not as educated, they'll make really great sheeple. "...when there is evidence it is the more affluent citizens who are more likely to have children enrolled in higher education." I would love to see his "evidence." I'll bet it is built on the same flawed analysis as the Koch Industries (Kansas Policy Center) report on the Kansas budget last year.

"Lower taxes, higher tuition, and using tax dollars to send students to private schools..." Why should I pay to send a student to a private school?

I wonder how much our property taxes are going to go up because of this.

KSManimal 6 years ago

"I'll bet it is built on the same flawed analysis as the Koch Industries (Kansas Policy Center) report on the Kansas budget last year."

Or the same flawed evidence they use to justify starving public education:

notanota 6 years ago

Sure. There is evidence that our public education system does best in educating rich people, and there's evidence that rich kids are most likely to graduate from higher education. There's no evidence, as far as I know that the "majority" are attending private schools in Kansas, and so what if they were? The public schools are not failing the rich. They're making a choice not to use it, just the same as when I buy books instead of visiting the library. Are we going to give vouchers to people without kids, so they don't have to fund public education either? Vouchers for homeschooling? (That one's a can of worms. I know lots of good homeschoolers, but if you paid cash to keep kids home, that's an invitation to all the bad parents to keep 'em home, too.)

It's also a counter-intuitive solution to take public schools that are performing well for rich kids and then gut them by encouraging the best students to then leave. Private schools btw, generally perform no better on average than public schools when compared by socioeconomic status. Why not, instead, set up programs to try and help the underperforming students?

I'm not saying I have your shining program right here that will fix all kids, but hello, this voucher program is designed only with the interests of Wall Street in mind. Build up some charter schools. Take some sweet government dollars in the name of "small government" and shut down the school before anyone notices how little the students have learned. Mark my words, that's how it works. Just look at for-profit higher ed to see it in action.

On top of that, there is the issue of selective admissions and special needs. Is that voucher going to cover the funding needed to hire a para all day to work with a disabled student? Is that voucher going to cover specialists to work with the student in the least restrictive environment as currently mandated in public schools? Or is the school district just going to have to pick up the slack with a higher concentration of disabled students and a lower concentration of funding? It'll be extra fun now that those disabled students will also have their medicaid funding gutted.

And then finally, how are we going to know how these voucher-funded schools perform? Are they going to be subject to the same testing standards as public schools? Will we see that information on a website? Are they going to have lottery admissions, or are they going to cherry-pick the best and brightest students to pump up their stats?

Carol Bowen 6 years ago

If we have a voucher system, it should include all the expectations that you mention. One has to wonder how the public/private scoole system would balance.

notanota 6 years ago

Ah, I see. His comment about the "majority of students" was just about higher ed. We'll ignore the part where more students attend higher ed than ever before in American history, and instead focus on the demographic most likely to complete a degree. And once again, rather than finding ways to make the less affluent more successful (better public ed, feeder system through community colleges), we'll just deem higher ed to be something that only the rich can achieve. Brilliant.

lgreen17 6 years ago

So they finally said it. Education is only for the wealthy. Student from poor backgrounds, you don't get to go to a state university, sorry.

Carol Bowen 6 years ago

Does this mean we do not have to pay taxes to support Kansas universities?

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

Don't look for logic here, folks. It much of the same old drill they have been pushing for a long time. There is little evidence charters and vouchers are as effective as some allege and, in some cases, they are unconstitutional. As Betty Davis once said, ""Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night." (legislative session, that is)

6 years ago

Well, Larryville is unanimous. It's pretty amazing this guy got elected considering that no one voted for him.

6 years ago

Heh. And Liberals complained that Kobach was chasing a bogey man.

notanota 6 years ago

Sarcasm. Let me introduce you to it.

6 years ago

Sar what? Admit it, you're making that up!

jafs 6 years ago

Brownback promised to protect education and social service funding.

If he adopts the suggestions to use tax money for vouchers, and the cuts to Medicaid, that doesn't seem like protecting their funding to me.

notanota 6 years ago

It's also extra bonus cuts to Medicaid, since they'll be cutting the matching Fed money, too. That makes it like a buy-two-get-one-free sale, only it will be a "cut two-lose-three" budget. That's some fancy Oklahoma math.

gbulldog 6 years ago

The new budget director is in for a shock when he goes to register his vehicles in Kansas. Maybe he can help fix the problem for those of us who can not afford to buy replacement vehciles or register them because of the taxes we would pay..

Centerville 6 years ago

He can't do much about local taxes but he can show that cutting state taxes benefits everyone...and maybe the local officials will notice.

notanota 6 years ago

Yes. Cutting state taxes benefits everyone who is not poor, in public school, in college, disabled, or caring for someone who is disabled. What will happen is that local officials will notice that they need to increase local taxes. Again. To pay for the things that should have been funded at a state level.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years ago

This is an insane line of thinking.

lawslady 6 years ago

Maybe I am missing something and am niave, but wouldn't vouchers for education be given to EVERYONE - not just to the rich - thus allowing ANYONE (including the poor) to take that voucher and use it to attend ANY school? Isn't that designed to allow MORE choices by everyone and "reward" schools that do well (because more people will choose to use their vouchers to attend the better performing schools)? If it doesn't work that way, forgive me. If it does work that way, wouldn't such a system encourage schools to perform in a manner designed to attract the most students? I know that a voucher probably would not cover the entire cost of all schools, like Harvard. But isn't there some way to make it so that each student gets a better shot at attending any school they want, no matter their parents' socio-economic situation (or if they are over 18 THEIR economic situation)?

cayenne1992 6 years ago

"but wouldn't vouchers for education be given to everyone - not just to the rich - thus allowing ANYONE (including the poor) to take that voucher and use it to attend ANY school?"

That's exactly what Repubs want you to believe--so well done. The fact is that vouchers do NOT cover the full cost of tuition. The difference in cost is expected to be footed by the family. The problem lies in the fact that those families that can afford to pay for the difference in tuition (could be more than 50%) are often wealthier families, resulting in wealthier kids attending private schools. Of course, there are extraordinarily gifted students who may qualify by the school for a tuition waiver, but this is not often the case. Furthermore, isn't taking tax money and using it for vouchers the same as publicly funding two education systems? Why not take the money for vouchers and use it toward improving existing public schools? And, private schools are not required to admit every student, rather they can dictate who's accepted. If you look into the details, I think you'll find that vouchers primarily benefit those in the higher income brackets and do little for improving problems with the existing system.

6 years ago

"Why not take the money for vouchers and use it toward improving existing public schools?"

Because the problem with the public schools is not lack of money, mainly. Fixing them by spending more is like trying to make Joy Behar more intelligent by watching "The View" on a bigger TV.

cayenne1992 6 years ago

So instead, we should spend more, just differently (i.e. vouchers)?

notanota 6 years ago

The problems with public schools may not be caused just by lack of money, but they're certainly exacerbated by it.

6 years ago

How could they be exacerbated by something that doesn't exist?

cayenne1992 6 years ago

Quite easily. Lack in this case means a shortage of, not none at all.

6 years ago

Right-o. But the "lack of money" is what does not exist. It cannot be, then, a lack of money that exacerbates the problems in the schools.

"Bless me, what do they teach them at these schools?" asked Professor Kirke.

cayenne1992 6 years ago

"But the "lack of money" is what does not exist."

Ah, but that's subjective, not fact.

jafs 6 years ago

According to a study done by the KS legislature and the KS Supreme Court ruling, KS is not funding the educational system adequately.

6 years ago

2006 called, they want their talking points back.

notanota 6 years ago

Say you're trying to push a boulder up a hill. One person tries, and the boulder won't move. Two people try, and it barely moves. Do you now declare that it doesn't matter how many people try to push that boulder, and that boulder problems aren't caused by lack of manpower?

Funding levels at schools aren't the only problem with public education, but funding levels DO matter. Schools with better funding do outperform those with worse funding, even when you correct for student poverty levels. Unfortunately lots of the lowest performing schools get a double whammy by getting less funding and servicing the poorest students.

6 years ago

When the problem is not the location of the boulder, then no matter how many people push it, it won't solve the problem.

I guess the fact that schools with better funding outperform those with less, that explains the recognized excellence of NYC, Chicago, Detroit, and Los Angeles schools. And that explains why Kansas test scores* soared in the last decade as a whole new generation of students benefited from present record levels of funding.

They didn't?

Never mind.

  • I'm not a fan of teaching to the test, but if that's the measurement, then that's the measurement.

notanota 6 years ago

Actually, Kansas test scores have improved drastically in the last decade. The NCLB law moves the goalposts each year on what counts as adequate yearly progress, but test scores have, in fact, improved.

And, like I said, both poverty level and funding level are tied to student performance. I should have clarified that figures need to be adjusted for cost of living, but the data stands up. Funding matters. It's not the only factor, but saying that funding is irrelevant is simply incorrect.

6 years ago

Yep, according to the ACT, Kansas has shown a huge increase in college readiness, at least in the last 5 years: English, 2005: 74% English, 2009: 74% Math, 2005, 41% Math, 2009, 42% Reading, 2005: 51% Reading, 2009: 53% Science, 2005: 26%* Science, 2009: 28%

  • due to Creationalists on the school board, no doubt.

notanota 6 years ago

Now you've moved the goalposts.

ACT tests are not required for graduation. They are only reflective of students wanting to attend colleges that opt to accept ACT over SAT. The numbers you've reported could merely reflect that a growing percentage of students desire to attend college, meaning not just the academic achievers are applying. Furthermore, the data you've presented does reflect an increase in score levels, even if it's not by much, and it reflects it in the cohort least likely to be affected by funding changes (current high school students.)

That said, funding is only one dimension of a multidimensional puzzle, but it does matter.

6 years ago

"The numbers you've reported could merely reflect that a growing percentage of students desire to attend college"

But they do not, which you would know if you looked at the link. The number of test-takers in 2005 was 23,106 while the number in 2009 was a mere 41 students more. Neither was the highest or the lowest of the 5 years and all were within fractions of a percentage point of the average. There is no 'growing percentage.' (One reason I chose these is because they are as close to an apples/apples comparison one is likely to find).

If other scores had 'drastically improved' in the past decade as you claimed, surely such success would show up in the college testing scores of those who were in school for only half that decade (2005) as opposed to those who were in school virtually all of it (2009). Yet they don't - an entire 'generation' of high school students has been virtually unaffected by changes in funding or anything else. I wonder why.

But just so we're clear, I never said funding doesn't matter at all (so you can stop repeating yourself). I said that a) we are not suffering from a lack of funding, and b) more funding is not going to solve what we are suffering from.

notanota 6 years ago

Once again, the ACT is a voluntary test, taken only by those students wishing to seek admission at schools that request ACT scores. It is not a representative sample. SAT scores in Kansas are well above the national average and higher than they were last year. If we went by SAT scores, Kansas is doing better than ever. Again, not a representative sample.

To return to the topic at hand, multiple strong studies show that funding IS a factor in student success. To claim it isn't is simply incorrect. Listing ACT scores as proof that it isn't is an ad hoc ergo proptor hoc fallacy.

6 years ago

"Listing ACT scores as proof that it isn't is an ad hoc ergo proptor hoc fallacy. "

Don't go all Latin on me now (besides, it's 'post hoc' and 'propter,' with an 'e'). Rather than being some misunderstood logical misstatement, listing ACT scores that didn't improve is proof that your statement that "Actually, Kansas test scores have improved drastically in the last decade" is a mere unsupported assertion, and even flies in the face of the available evidence.

Reach back to your awesome Kansas public high school science classes and think about the concept of a control group and a test group for a moment. We're going to do science (Please, kids, don't try this at home).

Now think of "those students wishing to seek admission at schools that request ACT scores" as a potential test sample. 2005 will act as our control group, 2009 as our test group. They don't have to be representative of the whole, they just each need the same relation to their respective wholes. We are going to assume (for the moment) exactly that, unless you can propose some reason why the 2005 ACT group is not in relation to the 2005 whole as the 2009 ACT is the the 2009 whole. They also need to be of such a nature that we can expect that changes to the whole will also affect them. It's probably safe to assume that changes that 'drastically' raise test scores will affect college-bound grads.

OK, let's do this: 2005 control group scores: meh.

I know. But we have not applied years of totally awesome improving test scores that you said occurred.

So let's apply them to our test group for 4 years ... waiting... cool, we're done.

2009 tested group scores: meh.

Crap, how come our totally awesome improving test scores go had no effect upon those students who are part of our ACT sample? Science sucks.

notanota 6 years ago

Why yes, I mistyped the logical fallacy you were indeed and still are making. Good thing you knew what I meant.

Rather than hearken back to my high school days, the state of origin being irrelevant, I'll instead recall my graduate level statistics course and will reiterate that no, a self-selected voluntary group of the top achievers does not a valid statistical sampling make. Perhaps you'd care to sweet talk me with chi-square tests and discussions of the null hypothesis? I do love a reason to flip open the old textbooks. At any rate, even if you do merely show improvement you've subjectively labeled as not "dramatic" (but improvement nonetheless) between two groups of the top achievers over a short duration in which funding was gradually phased in, that doesn't measure outcomes for the lowest performers, and that's the group most likely to show dramatic improvements when money is spent well. Perhaps they won't attend college, but wouldn't it be nice if more kids learned how to read?

And all of it, all of it, is irrelevant to the basic premise. Funding matters. It's not the only factor, but it is a factor in student outcomes. Your earlier statement is simply incorrect.

6 years ago

ok, you win. Just no more Latin, ok?

6 years ago

My problem with vouchers is the flip side - as soon as the government gets its money into the schools, it gets its rules into the schools (what they must teach, whom they must admit or cannot eject, how their teachers must be paid). Private schools also quickly become hooked (like private colleges have on student loans) and have less will and power to resist all the fabulous ideas that flow from the teacher's unions. The result is that eventually every school becomes a public school. Vouchers are the camel's nose under the tent not to destroy public education, but to make it ubiquitous.

cayenne1992 6 years ago

"The result is that eventually every school becomes a public school."

If my tax dollars are going to support private schools, there had better be State oversight and accountability.

6 years ago

Oh, there will be, fear not.

cayenne1992 6 years ago

I'm more fearful of a broken public education system, which will put us further behind the rest of the world, than I am the state forcing standards on private schools receiving public money but are currently allowed not to accept students those schools deem unacceptable (unlike public schools).

SeanS 5 years, 12 months ago

"If my tax dollars are going to support private schools, there had better be State oversight and accountability." You are one heck of an optimist if you think any of your tax dollars are spent on things with oversight and accountability. But hey I guess there have to be some naive people out there for the corrupt goons to fool.

notanota 6 years ago

You are entirely correct on this, other than the BS anti union swipe. If parents want true school choice to be preserved, they should wholeheartedly fight any attempts to institute voucher programs.

6 years ago

Anti-Union? Moi? Perish the thought.

notanota 6 years ago

Not saying there aren't some bad unions out there that employ the same tactics they claim to deplore, but they wouldn't have come into existence at all if it weren't for lousy working conditions.

Orwell 6 years ago

There's also the problem that there are not private schools enough to educate everyone – or even a substantial segment of the student population. There's also no evidence they'd do a better job than the public schools if they had the same scope of responsibilities.You could argue that additional voucher revenue would allow them to expand, but the scale and quality of the result remains unknown. Predictions tend to follow ideology rather than evidence..

There's also the matter of the added cost to the public. The less-well-off students obliged to remain in public schools would have fewer educational resources available, and would get a degraded education. They wind up with reduced earning power, so they buy less and pay less in taxes. If they turn out to be insufficiently educated to hold a job, there's a new demand on social services. I'd rather pay enough in taxes to be sure every student has a chance at productivity and self-sufficiency.

6 years ago

"I'd rather pay enough in taxes to be sure every student has a chance at productivity and self-sufficiency."

Send your donation to: Kansas Department of Revenue 915 SW Harrison St # 150 Topeka, KS 66612-1505

I'm sure they'll put it to good use.

Scott Morgan 6 years ago

Shhhhhh lawslady you hit on the truth. Vouchers were designed to move students from low achieving schools. (poor) to schools of choice. Also I will tell you another secret, most private school/homeschool kids in Kansas are middle and lower economically.

What a concept.

The thought there are millions of millionaires running around Kansas is absurd. Shhh just don't tell the Lawrence libs this.

notanota 6 years ago

Vouchers may have been "designed" to move students out of poor achieving schools, but studies that account for socioeconomic status find that lottery-selected voucher students did not have better outcomes in charter schools.

If it was a system that actually worked better than public education, I'd have no beef with the idea.

Vouchers incorrectly diagnose the problem (it must just be a lousy school) and prescribe the wrong remedy.

Kookamooka 5 years, 12 months ago

Oh yes! Here comes the see....PRIVATE schools can pick and choose who gets in and who doesn't. So...even if you have a hot little voucher in hand...that doesn't mean you get to play with the rich kids. There is no equality there.

They are private schools because the EXCLUDE. See the problem now?

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

Orwell, BINGO. That's the drill. The poor will be left behind, but they only need to learn how to work in hotels and restrurants anyway. Like Ron Edmonds said in the 1970's: "We can whenever, and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us. We already know more than we need, in order to do this. Whether we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven’t so far.” Brownback knows what he is doing, believe me. This is going to be interesting, to say the least. Also, thanks for the earlier correction on Ms. Davis's name, 'avoice.'

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

My youngest daughter graduated from a "private" church school that used what's called the ACE system of Christian based education. ( There were less than 50 students in the entire school grades, K-12. The school was unaccredited and the "education" she received was nothing short of trash.The system goes by what are called "PACES"; individual modules in separate subjects. Subjects are self taught with "direction" from "teaching assistants" (volunteer parents). In her senior year she begged the school director to purchase the PACE for Algebra for her. He refused, stating that the church couldn't afford to pay for it. Yet at the same time she was required to take a PACE on "being a Christian woman". After she graduated from this school she attempted to go to Johnson County Community College. She failed, completely and utterly because of the lack of real education and lack of college preparation she received at this so called "school". You see, she was a female. The only "college" she was ever expected to go to was an unaccredited "Bible college" that was an extension of the school she attended, and then only until she found a husband. To answer questions I know are coming, her father had primary custody of her and this was a situation over which I had no control. She was set up to fail. These are the schools for which Brownback wants to provide his vouchers. Good going Kansas!

Clark Coan 6 years ago

The Kochs with their libertarian philosophy have been advocating this for years. Of course, they have been funding Americans for Prosperity which is paying the new budget director. They want to eliminate all taxes and government regulation over corporations.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Yes and it will devastate this state and this country in a way that Republicans could never even have dreamed in their wildest nightmares of Democrat control. This is the "new right" made of people just as loony (if not loonier) than what you believe of the current left. It makes me think that there is merit to the belief that 2012 will be the end of the world as we know it.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Oh and by the way, I'm glad you find it so funny. I don't consider the collapse of the US a laughing matter.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Brownback personal agenda is coming in a big way..

Vouchers for private schools = a christian fundamentalist project which of course takes funding from the public school districts

Beware: TABOR Is Coming After devastating government services in Colorado, the "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" threatens to invade.

Carol Bowen 6 years ago

How long is the governor's term?

olddognewtrix 6 years ago

Now we will live in the land of Koch, where Brownback builds his reputation as a hard nosed conservative as a base for his Presidential run in 2112.To hell with education, social needs and the general welfare.What price ambition ?

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

Well, olddog, as William Bennett said after the 1996 election to those who say, "my vote doesn't count," "Elections do matter."

Centerville 6 years ago

It's sad to see so many of my 60s-era comrades go to the barricades under the banner of "Feed the Government First!!!".

6 years ago

Well, they are now the government.

John Pearson 6 years ago

If we don't pay to educate our grandkids, who will pay social security to support us? this is nuts.

Carol Bowen 6 years ago

There won't be any social security. If all goes as planned, we will not be contributing. Social Security will shrivel up.

jayhawklawrence 6 years ago

Well now we know where Brownback is headed.

We just don't know if he is leading or following and how far he is planning to go with this right wing agenda.

It all makes me very nervous about the future.

nomorebush 6 years ago

We pay all their health care and now the rich politicians want taxpayers to send their kids to private schools!!!

pace 6 years ago

I wonder if Koch had run under their own name if Kansas would of voted the same. Sam Koch Brownback. We see how he supports education next we will see how he feels about clean air and water. I am very optimistic. It is hard but it is time to ask working families to sacrifice for the party.

salad 6 years ago

Congratulations conservatards! You elected this guy, prepare to have your kids priced out of college. Our future = circling the drain

6 years ago

Wow, isn't Larryville a cheery town these days? What ever happened to that old "Can Do" spirit?

Buck up little campers. We'll beat that slope together.

SeanS 6 years ago

Why is everybody so caught up in this anti-private school crap. I didn't see any of you on here angry when Obama's administration passed the largest bailout legislation in history. Who was the bailout for......let's all say it together, PRIVATE INDUSTRY. Oh no Obama wouldn't do something like that, only the evil conservative Brownback....get real people. If you don't like a policy, stick to it across party lines.

parrothead8 6 years ago

To compare the bailout legislation to vouchers for private schools is ludicrous. Essentially, you're saying that private schools will go out of business if they don't get these vouchers.

SeanS 6 years ago

parrothead8- No I'm making a point that the government hardly distinguish's between private and public institutions when it comes to funding anymore. Does that make sense? Or is this getting above your head? And edjayhawk what are you talking about? I'm going to assume when you say a bailout for wealthy people you mean rich people sending kids to private schools..well that's the point, nice stereotyping but the point of vouchers is for people that want their kid to get a decent education but can't afford it to be able to.

SeanS 5 years, 12 months ago

I understand all of this very well, I guess I just assumed that I didn't need to clarify all of these things on this board, I figured we were all education enough to understand the difference between state and federal government. I'm sorry I didn't clarify that the bailout was part of Obama and his administration's agenda, and was passed by the Congress and then signed by the President, what are we in 3rd grade where everything has to be spelled out? I guess I'm used to college where people actually debate issues not pick at words. None2 you sound like a smart person.

And I really don't think you are comprehending my point. What I'm saying is nobody was pointing out that they didn't like the vouchers regarding state budgets and such, people were crying foul saying that "private" schools should not receive public funding. That was all they were saying. Period. That is why I used the point of the bailout, which was public funding for private institutions. Following? I was pointing out that this is a fundamental issue here that is beyond state or federal lines, the issue is that people said public funding should not go to private institutions, and all I said was for people to stick to that fundamental distinction across party lines. End of story, no the private schools won't fail, no the economy won't tank without them, none of that. Just the ideology, that's it!

notanota 5 years, 12 months ago

I thought the Bush TARP bailout was BS, but that is a separate issue, and one could be for it and against private schools without experiencing cognitive dissonance. You see, I'm not against private industry where it makes sense.

I think school vouchers are BS, even though Obama's appointee thinks they're keen, and Obama has spoken out for them in the past. See, consistency, I haz it.

mr_right_wing 6 years ago

Salad, Bozo, beatrice, other liberal friends, we on the right are compassionate.

First a big slap to you with November's election, now Obama possibly adopting Bush era tax cuts (nothing good came from the Bush era!!!)

Please don't do anything crazy; Headquarters Counseling Center 841-2345 National Suicide Prevention Helpline 800-273-TALK National Hopeline Network 800-SUICIDE

I understand you may feel like the world as you know it is coming unraveled...if you aren't already on anti-depressants, you might want to consider that.

Mr. Right Wing cares.

voevoda 6 years ago

mr_right_wing, Haven't you figured out yet that the gratuitous nastiness you sometimes spout, such as in this posting, only discredits you and the causes you back?

mr_right_wing 5 years, 12 months ago

You must have confused posts. I even started with "compassion" and ended with "cares."

I never said to go ahead and do yourself in; there's no point in living.

Did you get your lump of coal a little early this year, and now you're cranky?

Cheer up and remember the reason for the season! ;o) Have a holly jolly one voevoda!! (Is that considered 'nastiness''?)

6 years ago

Thank you, Mr. Right Wing. In good to know that even in sad times like these (when passing ruffians can say 'ni' to old women) that there are people who truly care. I hope that your Christmas stocking stretches extra big. If Santa is paying attention, it will need to.

6 years ago

I'm pretty sure that 'typical right-wing babble' would stress the need for tax cuts and creationalism in schools*. I was just giving thanks to an obviously generous heart. During this holiday season, we should all say a prayer / thought that God / Allah / Gaia / The Great Spirit / Natural Selection sends us more made in the image of him.

But just so you know, "I can't understand what you say so you're stupid" is not a very convincing argument.

  • Mr. Right Wing can correct me on this if I am wrong.

notanota 6 years ago

I'm fairly sure that Monty Python references in a forum are actually signs of superior intellect.

6 years ago

Because Bush hated you and Obama loves you. All you need is love, love, love is all you need.

mr_right_wing 5 years, 12 months ago

Obama is god and Bush is the devil....(so goes the lib viewpoint)

Why would god want anything to do with anything the devil has ever done??

Nothing good can ever come out of anything the devil (Bush) has, or is, or ever will do. He is pure hatred and evil; while god (Obama) as you pointed out is love and happiness and butterflies and puppies and rainbows...

5 years, 12 months ago

And unicorns. Never forget the unicorns.

Dan Thalmann 6 years ago

I'm excited for this new budget guy. Sounds like he has a good foundation from which to approach this budget monster. The majority of the comments on this string are negative, but Lawrence is a blue anomaly in Kansas so I expected that sort of response. The fact of the matter is, the state is broke and we have to cut until things improve.

jafs 6 years ago

So if/when Brownback proceeds to cut education and social service funding, despite the fact that he promised to "protect" them, and despite the fact that the state of KS is not adequately funding the educational system now, according to studies done by the legislature and KS Supreme Court rulings, that will be fine with you?

voevoda 6 years ago

Yes, RuralWanderer, the state needs more money. Why not raise the tax rate on the Kochs and their fellow megamillionaires?

Carol Bowen 6 years ago

I doubt that increasing taxes on the few wealthy would make a significant difference. The state's main industries are agriculture and education. Not much revenue there. Our economy is not sustainable.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

A local USA economy = economic growth and new wealth for the USA!

Food for thought: The war is killing the economy not medicare, Social Security, public education or food stamps!!!

  1. The U.S. health care system is typically characterized as a largely private-sector system, so it may come as a surprise that more than 60% of the $2 trillion annual U.S. health care bill is paid through taxes, according to a 2002 analysis published in Health Affairs by Harvard Medical School associate professors Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein.

  2. Social Security adds to the deficit Reality: It's not just wrong—it's impossible! By law, Social Security's funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. That means that Social Security can't add one penny to the deficit.

  3. Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security. Reality: Social Security doesn't need to be fixed. Baby boomers were being planned for decades ago.

But if we want to strengthen it, here's a better way: Make the rich pay their fair share. If the very rich paid taxes on all of their income, Social Security would be sustainable for decades to come. Right now, high earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,000 of their income. But conservatives insist benefit cuts are the only way because they want to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share.

  1. Politicians forget to tell the news media privatizing Social Security will add $700 billion to the deficit annually for the next 20 years.

  2. Letting tax cuts for the top 2 percent—which were never meant to be permanent—expire as scheduled would pay down the federal debt by $700 billion over the next ten years.

  3. Medicare is NOT free. Millions of people using medicare insurance STILL pay into medicare insurance every month.

  4. The military industrial complex requires 60% of every tax dollar.... way tooo much money. REDUCE THIS BY 50%!

Food for thought: The war is killing the economy not medicare, Social Security, public education or food stamps!!!

6 years ago

Seriously, dude, a link will suffice. If you don't know how to make one, maybe one of the big kids can show you.

Carol Bowen 6 years ago

I prefer the summary. I don't have time to wander off on links.

5 years, 12 months ago

Good, because if you read a few threads you'll get to see it again and again and again.

guesswho 6 years ago

Yes there is a reason to tax the majority in the state who do not have children attending a state institution since the universities and colleges benefit ALL of Kansans.

Unless, of course, you do not plan to ever be sick and be treated by a doctor or a nurse or get pharmaceuticals. Or work for a company that might have accountants or a human resource department. Or drive a car that was developed by engineers. Or drive on a road that was developed by civil engineers. Or buy products that were manufactured by machines developed by mechanical engineers. Or use a computer that might have had a computer engineer work on it. Or watch a TV show. Or eat food with improved farming methods. Or be taught be a teacher. Or attend a concert. Or need a lawyer.

Just sayin....

HonestAbe1981 6 years ago

You are absolutely correct. This budget director is short-sighted.....without higher education these services wouldn't be available - everyone benefits.

YoungEarth 6 years ago

Don't worry, God is on Sam's side. Lawrence is like Kansas' Gomorrah. God is going to smite the liberal Lawrencians. Just wait and see.

ToriFreak13 6 years ago

lol @ those that really have no clue about life in general. I did not realize there were so many idle minds in Lawrence these days. Those of you beating the buried horse named "leaving the poor behind"...seriously? If someone is truly poor....they have more options to pay for their schooling than most. They "the poor" not "the rich" are also afforded some hefty tax credits for the tuition paid. If anything sure maybe some middle class families struggle with the the tuition increase. The decision shouldn't be that tough.....2000+ channels on my 60" 3-d tv??...or give my child a chance at a better life. I'm not asking for tuition hikes...but I know it isn't that hard for a poor person to get into college...AND get it paid for. On to the next horse now....

notanota 6 years ago

Once my ellipses tax is in place, we'll have all the funding we need. Just keep posting.

voevoda 6 years ago

Just last week, the LJW published stories demonstrating that education is the primary engine that will help the state overcome its current fiscal difficulties. So why does Brownback's new budget director regard education to be the private business of students and their families? Doesn't the public in general benefit from having a well-educated workforce? In regard to vouchers: I'll be willing to consider having my tax money redirected to private schools when I have direct input into what those schools teach and how those schools are run. (As I do with elections for the local school board and the state board of education.) Otherwise, it's a form of taxation without representation. (Tea Party, where are you on this issue?) In regard to university tuition: While a portion of the student body may be the children of affluent parents who can afford to pay the cost of unsubsidized tuition, raising the cost will have devastating effects on a larger segment of the student body: students from less-affluent and/or larger families; students who are paying their own way; graduate students who are independent adults. They struggle to meet the costs now, combining meager savings, current earnings from part-time jobs, student loans, and (rarely) scholarships. They often take longer to get their degrees and then have massive debts to repay. They end up less affluent and so less able to contribute to economic growth. Raising tuition would make the playing field even more uneven--favoring the well-to-do and eliminating a lot of the deserving poor. Lowering tuition, on the other hand, while raising entrance requirements, would make the playing field more level. And it would make the universities more cost-effective, saving the state money. If Anderson is so well qualified, how come he doesn't know these things?

notanota 6 years ago

Yes, but all of that requires an ability to actually think about the long term consequences of your actions.

ToriFreak13 5 years, 12 months ago

............. Merry Christmas! the comment below vvv lol @ lily. What is so hard to comprehend that private schools are being run more appropriately than public? how many of you have kids in the 497 these days? it is a joke! a circus! so if a parent has a child that actually wants to learn and remove themselves from the bs 497 offers...they should be afforded that opportunity. Instead of appreciating the process of allowing "the rich" a tax break for supporting a "poor" kid a chance at a better education.....your typical handout aficionados think "the rich" should be forced to pay for everything and anything "the poor" doesn't have. Get off your lazy bums and get a job!!! stop spending money you don't have!!!! stop spending your checks before you get them. Start using that same energy and brain to find ways to SAVE MONEY!! i'm on the bottom of the middle class totem pole....i don't have cable tv...i use an old school xbox for a dvd player...i have a jollopy car that is paid for....and i was able to buy a house in a DOWN economy last year. stop blaming "the rich" for the natural consequences of being lazy and ignorant.

notanota 5 years, 12 months ago

What's so hard to comprehend? Perhaps the subjective standards you're using to judge private vs public schools. Private schools do no better than public schools in objective test scores when variables like socioeconomic status are taken into account. No better. Furthermore, if you're going to take my tax money to fund your private school, you'd better believe I'll want a say in how you educate.

All citizens should pay for a strong public school system, and I'm personally happy to do my share to provide public education for those such as yourself who are less fortunate than I am. You're welcome.

To answer your question, why yes, I do have kids in the school district, and they're doing swimmingly well. Their teachers are fantastic, and they're busy learning things like proper grammar and punctuation.

lilygrace 6 years ago

This proposed plan makes absolutely no sense, whatsoever. Let's see, "Throwback" is going to cut taxes and make up the difference in State spending by reducing Medicaid, which, pays for medical care for children, elderly, and the disabled but help the richie riches by using our tax dollars to pay for vouchers to private schools that they can afford anyway AND they don't have to abide by non-discrimination laws? There is nothing about that proposal that is fiscally sound. The plan also recommended higher tuition at public universities and schools. "There is no reason to tax the majority in the state who do not have children attending a state institution in order to subsidize those who do, especially when there is evidence it is the more affluent citizens who are more likely to have children enrolled in higher education," the document said. Bulls--t! All this schmuck's plan will do is keep middle-class (wha't left of it) out of higher education. The best way to control the populace and keep them working in low-paying service jobs is to reduce the numbers of citizens who are not fully educated. Republicans are turning America into a slave nation. We will be working in hovels for the Chinese anyday now. Wake up people from your 24/7 TV induced coma and help stop these right-wing " nut-cases before it's too late. I participated in the annual Zombie walk but had to dress up to do it. It seems the Kansas populace these days is nothing BUT brainless Zombies. Run for your lives!

Kookamooka 5 years, 12 months ago

Here Here! You've hit the nail on the head. Keeping America stupid is what worked for GW Bush. It's a time tested approach to taking over the world. Collapsing an economy by eliminating oversight and regulation is the other prong to their heinous strategy. IT ALMOST worked but the Dem's stepped in and Obama came into office. He thwarted their evil plan.'s game back on in Kansas. I'm sure Brownback and his K-Street cronies are thinking..."Let's go back to the drawing board in one of the stupidest states in America!"

5 years, 12 months ago

What does he mean, Miss Skeffington?

mr_right_wing 5 years, 12 months ago

No 'poor person' has ever offered me a job.

Some approach me downtown wanting free money....

I'm willing to go to a 'wealthy person' and ask for money in exchange for doing a satisfactory job for them.

It's gotta be criminal that a 'wealthy person' isn't just willing to give me (or you) money for free!

So let's get rid of the 'wealthy person' then we can all just aimlessly wonder around downtown Lawrence asking each other for money for free (that none of us have)!

Kookamooka 5 years, 12 months ago

Well, my stupid fellow get what you vote for. There is no one to blame now but ourselves. We all know he'll take a presidential bid after he trashes our state so it doesn't really matter how long he's in office...he won't be running for a second term.

That said....if the people of the United States don't wise up soon, we should all be making future plans to emigrate. Opus Dei is on the way.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 12 months ago

Maybe we can all buy a Cilice with the state logo on it. Sam supposedly wears one at times. Opus Dei, indeed. The "Family" scares me more.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 12 months ago

Brownback is not Presidential material at all. He is only a salesman and lacks the intellectual depth and personality to run for President.

He is a perfect fit in Kansas for a job with Koch "Narrow World View" Incorporated.

Kansans don't like to read much. Anything longer than a bumper sticker probably tires out most of the Brownback voter base.

But anyone interested in the the future can just go to the Cato Institute website and go to the login section titled, "new cult member registration form."

mbulicz 5 years, 12 months ago

Brownback Agenda:

1) Cut taxes 2) Spend more on private school 3) Spend less on college 4) ????? 5) Run for another office

notanota 5 years, 12 months ago

Don't forget the "spend less on the disabled" step.

verity 5 years, 12 months ago

Let's just cut the crap and put it out there. The Koch brothers will be running Kansas as their own private fiefdom. We're all totally screwed and that goes for the rightwingers also. You may think you now have the world by the tail, but Koch/Brownback don't give a damn about you. They'll wreck the economy just so they can make some extra bucks.

I remember when Reagon cut federal income taxes---the states then had to raise taxes to make up for it. I remember the Bush tax cuts---I think my paycheck went up a few dollars---certainly not enough to make any difference in my life.

Brownback is now a little fish in a little pond and that's all he'll ever be.

mr_right_wing 5 years, 12 months ago

...and now Bush era tax cuts are back! How about that verity?

Of course it cost obama a 'no confidence' vote from dems + pelosi.

Nancy is doing a great job of becoming a hero for the right! If I was a lib I'd start getting a little suspicious that she's a plant.

verity 5 years, 12 months ago

How about it? How can they be back when they never left?

Pelosi a hero of the right? What planet are you on? She did exactly what she should have done---no confidence for a "compromise" that once again was giving in to the Republicans. It's time the Democrats grew a backbone. They should have done it years ago.

verity 5 years, 12 months ago

Why didn't you reply to what I wrote instead of trying to change the subject?

coolhawk 5 years, 12 months ago

Hmm. A voucher system for education. In theory, not a bad idea. But in reality probably not practical unless the system is set up to make things equal between the poor and the rich. More money on vouchers for the poor and less for the rich. Why? Because the poor do not have the extra money to transport, feed, cloth and provide the extras to get their kids to private schools. If vouchers are an equal allotment, those with less money will not be able to afford the private schools because of the extras involved in being in a private school. Therefore, the education received by the various classes is not equal. This just creates a greater chasm between the haves and the have nots. Whatever happened to integration and providing the same learning environment for all - rich, poor, middle class? I am not saying that the rich do not deserve their money. They do. They worked for it. But a voucher system doesn't really address the challenge of an enhanced education system. The richer get a better education and the poor receive less. Just something to think about. I don't have an answer but there has to be a way. Let's find it.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 12 months ago

A voucher system won't necessarily go to fund a better education. Please see my comment above about the so called "education" my daughter received at a private Baptist school. It wasn't education, it was indoctrination.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 12 months ago

By the way; in some of the curriculum materials presented to my daughter during her tenure at this "school" were supporting statements for Apartheid in South Africa and supporting statements for the concept of Manifest Destiny.

Sunny Parker 5 years, 12 months ago

"Brownback is not Presidential material at all. He is only a salesman and lacks the intellectual depth and personality to run for President".....haha! Obomba = Community Organizer, but with an amazing personality! haha

Commenting has been disabled for this item.