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Archive for Thursday, August 25, 2011

Democrats to address fears over school finances during forum Saturday at Lawrence library

August 25, 2011

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With Gov. Sam Brownback contemplating cuts in the state income tax and making other potential changes in revenue sources, Democrats are organizing a forum to consider how such efforts might drain state financing for public schools.

And they’ll convene in one of the two counties statewide that Brownback failed to carry in the November election.

“You’ve got to start somewhere,” said Ed Quick, chairman of the Douglas County Democratic Party. “If people see we’re talking about it, then other places in the state will start talking about it.”

The forum, featuring three panelists involved in public education, is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.

The goal is to crystallize issues likely to become major initiatives during the upcoming legislative session, Quick said. Brownback is likely to push for cutting the state income tax, a major source of revenue for a statewide budget that already sends more than half of its revenue — more than $3 billion — into K-12 education.

If cutting taxes led to less revenue, Quick said, then it would be logical to expect the state to continue reducing the amount of money sent to school districts.

The Lawrence school district is enduring a $3 million cut from the state for this academic year, following cuts of $4.6 million for 2010-11 and more than $3 million for 2009-10.

“That sets a difficult stage for educating kids than in years when you have money to add programs and provide raises,” said Vanessa Sanburn, a member of the Lawrence school board.

The panel for Saturday’s forum will feature Sanburn, elected to the board in 2009; Mark Desetti, director of legislative and policy advocacy for the Kansas National Education Association; and Cathy Cook, executive director for Kansas Families for Education.

Brownback — who in the 2010 election trailed Democratic challenger State Sen. Tom Holland of Baldwin City only in Douglas and Wyandotte counties — won’t face election for another three years, Quick said, so voters interested in opposing cuts to public education need to focus their attention on legislators and legislative candidates.

Comments

Mike Ford 2 years, 7 months ago

My mom worked eighteen years for her pension dealing with impossible principals and the state of kansas and it's lack of support for education. Ms. jenkins was on the kpers board when the pension investment tanked and she ducked it like any good republican does. What's even better is that dumblicans like yourself hate on people who put in 70 hours a week as a teacher and librarian like my late mother did. I guess it takes an ignorant kansan like you to bash on a deceased teacher...have to love those hateful kansas values and the morons like you behind them. Please attack the deceased who put their time in like any good coward does....you're not heartless....not at all....

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1957 2 years, 7 months ago

How much money is enough for public school education? Always complaints so just give us a number.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 7 months ago

actually bash kpers all you want because in typical republican fashion it was run into the ground by bad fund management in 2008. My late mother was a teacher and librarian in Kansas from 1986 to 2004 before moving to Florida to be a librarian before she died in 2009 in a car accident. My mom's death benefit was all I got from KPERS and I thank Lynn Jenkins for this and every time I've put a letter to the editor in the Topeka Capital Urinal about KPERS and Ms. Jenkins they've refused to print the leader. That paper has the joker's back I guess...

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Pete_Schweti 2 years, 7 months ago

Jesus Christ, what a loaded headline!

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Daffy 2 years, 7 months ago

Democrats are concerned about the education of Independents and Republican kids. It's very nice of them since they do not have many kids by choice to educate. It's very patriotic of them.

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Alceste 2 years, 7 months ago

Let us not forget that these "Democrats" have carved out a really nice sweetheart deal for themselves when they "retire" from the state of Kansas Legislature. They've made certain via KPERS that they're going to get PAID when they're "old". It's amusing how well they've been able to look out for themselves, but have left the public behind. Holland, Davis, Ballard, and Francisco come to mind:

Here's how these turkeys have allowed themselves to get paid after their "service". Remembre, being a legislator is a part time job. They don't go to work every day. And yet here is how they get to calculate their KPERS retirement benefit:

Even though they only really "earn" for a couple of months of the year, they get credit for earning it all year long.

For the legislator listing all income - the daily rate, subsistence and allowance - this is how annualization is calculated:

•$88.66 (daily rate) x 31 (days) x 12 (months) = $32,981.52

•$123 (subsistence) x 31 (days) x 12 (months) = $45,756

•$7,083 non-session allowance.

Altogether, that equals $85,820.52, and that's the pay figure that would be used for that legislator retiring now.

Now then, that political hack who is president of the Kansas hillbilly senate or whatever the operation is has defended this obscene payout because legilsators work for "...so little money....". Ok....if that is the case, why aren't all civil servants for the state of Kansas allowed to have their KPERS benefit calculated on a 372 day work year?

In calendar year 2010, employer contributions for legislators in KPERS slightly topped $900,000.

A legislator retiring with an annualized pay of $85,820.52, and with 10 years' service, would have an annual KPERS benefit of $15,018.60, for a monthly benefit of $1,251.55, according to KPERS. If the retiring legislator had 20 years' service, the annual benefit would be $30,037.20, and monthly, $2,503.10.

A state social services worker in a supervisory role retired in 1995 after 15 years and draws a monthly KPERS benefit of $524. That is equal to the monthly benefit for a county-level commercial appraiser who retired at 65, vested at nine years with KPERS.

It's for the children, you know. shrug

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 7 months ago

Brownback wants to spend YOUR tax dollars on vouchers and private schools = increase in special interest spending.

Corporate private schools with:

CEO's Shareholders Golden Parachutes Spending on political campaigns The bottom line will be the bottom line Can pick and choose students

All of the above is waste of tax dollars....

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rockchalk1977 2 years, 7 months ago

"Elections have consequences"... Barack Hussein Obama II.

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Gandalf 2 years, 7 months ago

Yep!

I think this next legislative session would be a good time for the legislature to take away the line item veto. I forsee a lot of future abuse.

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getreal 2 years, 7 months ago

Cant-have-it-both-ways, Are you aware that the state has about $180 million dollars just sitting there so they can eliminate corporate income taxes next year? There will be more cuts, but it isn't because there is NO money, it is because Brownback is going to repay his political contributors in the form of NO taxes for them. That's right a free ride for corporate America on the backs of our kids.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 7 months ago

Folks, when there is no money left, then there will be no school, no welfare, no you name it. Better take the cuts now and quit whining. The problem will just get worse. If you dont like what Brownback is doing, then you run for office.

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Gandalf 2 years, 7 months ago

Brownback — who in his 2010 election trailed Democratic challengers only in Douglas and Wyandotte counties — won’t face election for another three years, Quick said, so voters interested in opposing cuts to public education need to focus their attention on legislators and legislative candidates.

Translation: brownback won't listen.

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