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Archive for Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kansas education funding outlook gloomy

November 17, 2010

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— Kansas school districts might have to consider cutting budgets for the current year as state revenues slowly recover, education officials said Wednesday.

Officials estimate as much as $75 million is needed in the current budget to supplement increasing numbers of students, and more of those students need assistance because of the economy.

Kathy Cook, executive director of the group Kansas Families for Education, said districts will have to consider reducing more staff, programs or even closing schools.

“That’s the quickest way to save the most money if they don’t appropriate the supplemental aid and find something to fill the hole with the loss of stimulus dollars,” Cook said.

State revenues are improving in part because of a new 1 cent increase in the state sales tax. But the growth isn’t raising enough to keep pace with spending. New projections from economists and state researchers show a gap of as much as $500 million in the 2012 Kansas budget.

Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jay Emler, a Lindsborg Republican who’s serving on Republican Gov.-elect Sam Brownback’s transition team, said the committee hasn’t made any decisions about the budget.

But he said there’s no appetite for a tax increase after last year’s.

“I have a great deal of difficulty figuring out where we’re going to the get the money to replace the (federal) stimulus dollars,” Emler said. “What do I see? What I see is no money to replace stimulus dollars.”

According to statistics prepared by the Kansas Department of Education, school districts have some 816 fewer certified staff working this fall, including 653 fewer teachers.

Comments

Betty Bartholomew 4 years, 1 month ago

Let's try cutting legislator salaries instead of school funding. Our kids are going to end up with a very poor education at this rate.

Jeff Plinsky 4 years, 1 month ago

Big_B: If this were a temporary problem, that would work. Unfortunately, the federal dollars that were included in the stimulus package run out next year, so cuts will happen again next year, even with your plan.

Furthermore, the legislature would have to vote to eliminate the statutory restrictions on how capital outlay dollars can be spent. They are not likely to do that.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

Well, we'll see how Brownback follows through on his promise to "protect" education funding.

avoice 4 years, 1 month ago

Because of the higher sales tax and other taxes and rate increases, more families have less money to pay bills and have to take advantage of free/reduced school lunches and other services they previously had foregone. The lizard eats its tail.

uneekness 4 years, 1 month ago

Fed taxes went down for most Americans last year (via the payroll tax reduction). If the monthly budget for food is $500, then the sales tax increase nicks you for another $5. (although I'd prefer to see no sales tax on food, as it does fall disproportionately on the poor).

You said that other taxes and fees went up. What other taxes and fees did the legislature raise last year? Or the county and city commissions?

Carol Bowen 4 years, 1 month ago

"social engineering" is exactly why u.s. schools rank low. We are not comparing similar groups. Other countries do not spend as much effort educating everyone equally.

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