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Archive for Thursday, March 4, 2010

Board to discuss budget details

The Lawrence school board concluded its public hearings saying it needs to compile a list of specific schools it could possibly close. The board will not make a decision on whether to close any buildings until a later date.

March 4, 2010

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After weeks of hearing public pleas not to close schools or significantly raise the student-teacher ratio, Lawrence school board members on Monday will get into the details about their budget cuts.

Board President Scott Morgan said board members will talk — line-by-line — through a list of potential cuts to try to get to $5 million in savings.

Among items on the list are $3 million in program and administrative cuts and proposals from Save Our Neighborhood Schools, which wants a combination of some cuts and higher fees without closing schools or cutting teaching jobs.

Morgan mentioned a scenario last week that included closing Wakarusa Valley and Sunset Hill elementary schools. He said other board members need to start weighing in on raising the student-teacher ratio and which schools they would consider closing.

“I would hope to get into specifics so we’re not just saying we’re closing two schools,” Morgan said. “I think we know enough about the different issues at each of the schools that we need to be able to say and name names or else we really haven’t made much progress.”

Two board members, Rich Minder and Vanessa Sanburn, have said they want to make cuts without closing neighborhood elementary schools. Other board members have left the closure option on the table, but most haven’t said which schools they would close.

Each time it closed a school, the district would save $400,000 to $600,000. Each time the district would raise the student-teacher ratio by one student, it would save about $1 million and cut about 20 teaching jobs. This option means larger elementary classes and fewer courses at secondary schools.

Members of Save Our Neighborhood Schools say board members have options to make cuts without closing schools.

“It would be premature to close schools before next year,” group member Chuck Epp said.

Other parents say raising the student-teacher ratio will have a greater effect on the district’s larger and more crowded schools, including Langston Hughes, Sunflower and Quail Run. These parents say the board needs to look at boundary changes or another way to lessen the impact.

“If they do that, they have to make sure that the negative impact of cuts as a whole are evenly shared throughout the district,” said Kitty Ware, a Langston Hughes parent.

Morgan said it’s possible the board could make some decisions Monday and ask for information on other points.

District officials want a decision about cuts at least by the end of the month so any teachers who may lose their jobs have as much notice as possible.

“We may not have all the details worked out,” Morgan said. “But I hope that we will know the broad picture of where we will go to make those cuts.”

Comments

Stephen Roberts 4 years, 12 months ago

Paul- Eeven though the tax cutters are partially to blame, everyone is to blame also. Let me explain, for the past 8 months, the state has taken in less and less money. Why??? People are spending less, less spend, less sales tax collected.

The state needs to aggressively advertise that people who buy things from the internet and are not charged sales tax, need to file a use tax form. While doing this, the state needs to contact as many companies as possible that allow people to buy over the internet and get them to start charging KS sales tax and remit that money to the state. Amazon charges, so should everyone else.

Also, some people in Lawrence have fought so hard to keep small schools, in order to keep the small schools what is going to be sacrificed?? I am afraid that the SONS group in a few years, will be complaining that their kids do not have more opportunity at the JR & high school level.

Stephen Roberts 4 years, 12 months ago

Paul- Eeven though the tax cutters are partially to blame, everyone is to blame also. Let me explain, for the past 8 months, the state has taken in less and less money. Why??? People are spending less, less spend, less sales tax collected.

The state needs to aggressively advertise that people who buy things from the internet and are not charged sales tax, need to file a use tax form. While doing this, the state needs to contact as many companies as possible that allow people to buy over the internet and get them to start charging KS sales tax and remit that money to the state. Amazon charges, so should everyone else.

Also, some people in Lawrence have fought so hard to keep small schools, in order to keep the small schools what is going to be sacrificed?? I am afraid that the SONS group in a few years, will be complaining that their kids do not have more opportunity at the JR & high school level.

Stephen Roberts 4 years, 12 months ago

Paul- Eeven though the tax cutters are partially to blame, everyone is to blame also. Let me explain, for the past 8 months, the state has taken in less and less money. Why??? People are spending less, less spend, less sales tax collected.

The state needs to aggressively advertise that people who buy things from the internet and are not charged sales tax, need to file a use tax form. While doing this, the state needs to contact as many companies as possible that allow people to buy over the internet and get them to start charging KS sales tax and remit that money to the state. Amazon charges, so should everyone else.

Also, some people in Lawrence have fought so hard to keep small schools, in order to keep the small schools what is going to be sacrificed?? I am afraid that the SONS group in a few years, will be complaining that their kids do not have more opportunity at the JR & high school level.

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 12 months ago

Commuter: Sales (or use) taxes on internet sales is not at all as simple as it first seems, despite it being a growing issue to brick and mortar commerce.

Friendly persuasion to out-of-state companies won't accomplish didlie squat, either.

Companies with a physical presence in Kansas must "collect and remit" sales taxes to the State. Amazon has an order fulfillment warehouse in Coffeyville, so it must collect and remit sales taxes to Kansas. It isn't because they are being good natured. Amazon fights paying sales taxes in most states (without a physical facility). Amazon recently lost a case in New York which used a new wrinkle in a new sales tax law to go after Amazon. But this new law still does not affect most internet transactions.

Carol Braden 4 years, 12 months ago

I met with 8 state legislators yesterday. They all said (both Republican and Democrat) that there will be cuts next year and "cuts" is a toned-down version of what they said: slice & dice, surgery, eliminations, etc. We will all feel these effects: Education, Medicaid, Mental Health, SRS, services for disabled, Aging Nutrition Programs, Primary Health Care Clinics, Local Health Departments, KDHE, Legislative Agencies, Judicial services, Corrections facilities & programs, KBI, Veterans Service, Animal Health, Agriculture, State Fair, Wildlife & Park, State Library, and Higher Education.

The only way to lessen the effect is:

  1. Ask for across the board cuts rather than elimination of programs.
  2. Support tax revenue increases.

What little more we will all pay in taxes will save thousands and thousands of jobs. More Kansas will remain employed and able to spend more in Kansas. Kansas communities will continue to be attractive places to live by supporting quality education and state services.

  1. And buy in Kansas! Vacation in Kansas! Spend your money in Kansas!

We all need to take a share of this difficult budget time. Call, write, or email your legislators and let them know you are willing to pitch in!

KSManimal 4 years, 12 months ago

paulette2 (anonymous) says... "Do the details show the $250,000 per year for 10 years in interest costs for the athletic field improvements for duplicate football stadiums?"

Those stadiums will save $120,000 per year in maintenance, transportation, and stadium rental costs; compared to continuing to play on live grass and at Haskell Stadium. That savings will continue long after the debt is paid off.

beaujackson 4 years, 12 months ago

Anyone that believes the two HS sports complexes will "save money", would buy the Brooklyn bridge.

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 12 months ago

And anyone who believes anything that Cool/Spiderman/Ariadne/Coltrane (among others), and now Paulette2 posts has already bought the Brooklyn bridge.

I thought Kealing had banished him for his repetitive abuse, anyway. What's up with that?

Stephen Roberts 4 years, 12 months ago

Boston - As a CPA I totally understand sales and use taxes. Eight years ago the states went to Congress to get them to pass a bill about collecting sales tax on internet sales. At that time, there was no one way that most of the states determined what rate to tax sales. Congress did not want to pass any internet sales tax bill unti a mjority of the states agree on what rates to tax.

That is why Kansas now has the streamlined sales tax. So far, there are some companies that charge KS sales tax on purchases but Kansas could always talk to others. If they are so hard for money, why not?

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 12 months ago

Well commuter, you may be a CPA, but I think your notion about online retailers wanting to charge sales taxes in the spirit of civic mindedness is a bit naive. Ask away. But it isn't going to solve any budget issues in Kansas.

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 12 months ago

Well commuter, you may be a CPA, but I think your notion about online retailers wanting to charge sales taxes in the spirit of civic mindedness is a bit naive. Ask away. But it isn't going to solve any budget issues in Kansas.

funkdog1 4 years, 12 months ago

Comrade: I love it when people like you rail about how bad schools are these days when you can barely construct a sentence yourself. Newsflash: "Schools are to educate, not entertain, not to babysit, not to provide the only source of nutrition, but to educate!" That's a double comma splice you got goin' on there, Buddy.

You obviously haven't stepped foot in a school in about 30 years. You have absolutely no idea what the hell you're talking about. As public schools go, Lawrence schools are top-notch.

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