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Archive for Friday, August 26, 2011

David Booth on improving education: ‘If that means raising taxes … that’s fine’

August 26, 2011

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David Booth, after his speech and having his photo taken with supporters and friends, agreed to answer a few questions — including this one posed this week online by gerald_bostock, who noted that Booth had donated $300 million to the business school at the University of Chicago (Booth, by the way, characterizes the money as a “partnership distribution”).

The question: What do you think about Warren Buffett’s recent campaign to have the super rich taxed by the government?

Booth’s response: “Today I’m just going to focus on education. It’s clear, when you look at the data about incomes for high school graduates, what we really have to do is figure out how to educate and train people a lot better. If that means raising taxes, I think that’s fine.

“At the same time, I’ve been around long enough: Leading with raising taxes and hoping that solves problems is not as good a way to proceed as figuring out, ‘Here’s a solution to the problem,’ and now, ‘Here’s the amount of money we need.’

“I’d rather have better work on solutions before we worry about taxes.”

Comments

Maxandwillie 2 years, 8 months ago

Comparing the US, which tests EVERY kid with other nations who only test a percentage is not a fair comparison. We have our issues, but we still strive to teach ALL kids and test them as well. The other countries which are better than us in testing don't do that.

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Centerville 2 years, 8 months ago

The KNEA is keeping accomplished private sector people out. They have a bogus program with some sort of feel-good title that puports to encourage it. Actually, it is so full of Catch-22 barricades that it's almost impossible for, say, a practicing engineer to start teaching in any field related to his expertise.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

Facilities and Maintenance

Let's take a look at New York Elementary. A new Gym was added to that school less than 10 years ago which required a fair number of tax dollars. Closing that school demonstrates little respect for how tax dollars are spent.

How should the school district pay for a $16.5 million maintenance backlog in elementary schools? 61% = over a period of time 31% do a bond issue http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2007/oct/how_should_school_district_pay_20_million_maintena/

At $7.5 million USD 497 tax dollars a year in capital outlay funds this maintenance could be accomplished in two years without raising taxes or borrowing money. This tax money and more is collected annually and locally.

In fact USD 497 2011 Facilities and Maintenance Capital Outlay Priorities suggests $6,440,000 could be spent which includes :

Cordley Deerfield East Heights Hillcrest Kennedy Langston Hughes(replacing floor throughout this new school building?) Centennial New York Pinckney Prairie Park Quail Run Schwegler Sunflower Wakarusa Woodlawn

No money will be saved building new schools. Two new bigger schools will cost at least $20 million. It is better to fix what we have and do it right. This way more children can walk and bike to school and the parents homes will not lose 10% more in property value due to the closing of a neighborhood school.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 8 months ago

Would you rely on an 8 year old poll to be a reliable guide to current public opinion?

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

Mr Booth,

Teacher Salary Support

Would you favor a sales tax increase to provide more money for Lawrence teacher salaries? http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2003/mar/teacher_salaries/

Of course the state forbids such a tool unless Lawrence could launder the money in another fashion yet funneling the money to OUR teachers.

This money would need to be managed by taxpayers or written in stone that this money is strictly dedicated to teacher salaries. Too many elected officials simply cannot be trusted to do the right thing.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

Veteran teacher responds to letter’s criticism regarding pay raise etc etc etc = quite interesting!

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/apr/23/veteran-teacher-responds-letters-criticism/#c1617298

As for the suggestion from David Booth about raising taxes let's think.

It is the reckless money managers in Topeka and USD 497 that create the problems. There are plenty of tax dollars collected to run the school districts.

In USD 497 the district blows $20 million on a never ending sports projects INSTEAD of applying OUR tax dollars to the $16.5 million elementary school building maintenance projects. Some of the rehab needs have been on the books for 10 years of more yet simply neglected. This Mr Booth is reckless money management indeed.

Then we have Topeka legislators who believe they are the education elite who decided to begin killing public education slowly but surely by a method known as defunding then claiming the system is not working. What a load of crap.

Then comes No Child Left Behind. Another unfunded load of crap aimed at killing public education set up by the idiots of our time aka the bogus republican party.

Mr Booth with all due respect it is not lack of tax dollars it is lack of integrity and smart fiscal management of existing tax dollars. More taxes under the Brownback admin will not guide the tax dollars into our public school districts simply because republican leadership desire to kill public education.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 8 months ago

Mr. Booth said

“At the same time, I’ve been around long enough: Leading with raising taxes and hoping that solves problems is not as good a way to proceed as figuring out, ‘Here’s a solution to the problem,’ and now, ‘Here’s the amount of money we need.’

Where did the headline come from - I guess the LJW already has the solution sought by Mr. Booth and is ready for the money to implement it. Want to share the good ideas? Could the solution be something other than funding?

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Dan Eyler 2 years, 8 months ago

There you go again with those darn Koch brothers. You know those two guys who have invested millions in Kansas and employee 50,000 Americans in one capacity or another, all with a living wage, none on welfare. I'm not sure what more we can ask of the guys.

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nugget 2 years, 8 months ago

The red wingnuts in this state are all against any kind of taxes or government support... that is, until it benefits THEM. Then get out of the way because the high-pitched crying is intolerable. Yet they turn a blind eye to the corporate welfare in the hundreds of millions that are doled out to the Koch Brothers and their ilk each year. What's the matter with Kansas? Let me count the ways.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 8 months ago

Give generously, citizens. The education industry needs more money to throw at problems.

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Alceste 2 years, 8 months ago

As is the norm, so much silly hand-wringing from the apologists of a bankrupt system: Let's work with facts, shall we?

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/12/your-child-left-behind/8310/ ("No Child Left Behind" Atlantic Monthly; December 2010) is a strong analysis of public education in the USA comparing it to the rest of the world and also on a state by state basis, I might add. Where does Kansas sit in all of these statistics? (The research provided is from Stanford economist Eric Hanushek and two colleagues).

First let's quote: "We’ve known for some time how this story ends nationwide: only 6 percent of U.S. students perform at the advanced-proficiency level in math, a share that lags behind kids in some 30 other countries, from the United Kingdom to Taiwan. But what happens when we break down the results? Do any individual U.S. states wind up near the top?

Incredibly, no."

As is the norm, also, Kansas sits in the back of the bus with a mere 5.2% of it's high school students performing at the advanced level in math proficiency. But our kids here in Lawrence have them a couple of "world class" football Colosseums and our kids sure know how to text and even drive a car at the same time!

Kansas lags behind such titans of world thought as the Russian Federation; Lithuania; Ireland; Poland; Hungry; Slovak Republic; Estonia; Iceland; Slovenia; and on and on and on and on.

It's hard to fix stupid.

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AppologiesMyLiege 2 years, 8 months ago

"No, we need to specifically define what a "good teacher" is, as well what a "bad teacher" is, and then determine how we can know the difference. "

Well, the good and bad teachers grade the good and bad students with tests. If the unions would allow teachers to graded with tests you might have something there.

Problem is, what does one with the bad teachers? Put them in "time-out" with full pay?

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rickrherbert 2 years, 8 months ago

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madcow 2 years, 8 months ago

We need to pay teachers a competitive salary to draw real talent away from the private sector and into the classroom.

We need to make it easier to get bad teachers out of the classroom.

We need to hold parents accountable for making their children ignorant, stupid brats.

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Jeff Kilgore 2 years, 8 months ago

Most, if not all of the comments posted here make negative comments about our nation's schools and lump the bad in with the good. I'll tell you this: this generation of young people are much better educated than I or my peers were back in the "anything goes" 1970s. Those of you who make derogatory comments about our top 50 to 75 percent of our kids would be lucky if you could figure the math problems they're dealt, or the readings they have to consider. This is not my opinion. I see this walking the halls of our schools daily. Our students will outperform their teachers. I can say without hesitation that our high schools turn out better students year after year. Yes, they text, yes, they play video games, but they're capable in many other ways, both academically and in technology.

I'm writing in support of not only the schools, but the many, many fine young people that attend schools all across Kansas and the US. If you don't think that this is true, go visit the public schools. You'll be in for a surprise,--no, a great surprise.

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OonlyBonly 2 years, 8 months ago

Well let Mr. Booth donate all he wants. It's been a while since I had a child in school and in all honesty I don't see where we're really educating the children now. Heck, they can't add, subtract, etc. without a calculator. Many, if not most, are semi-literate, instead of "new speak" (1984) we have "txt speek" (spelling error intended - that's another problem area). Educators start educating again and I'd support additional money - but not one more red cent wasted on Democratic school waste!

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Dan Eyler 2 years, 8 months ago

So whats it going to be, higher taxes for K-12 or higher taxes for public universities. We just cant seem to get our heads around the fact that as a nation the public school system is crumbling as a whole. I realize there are exceptions to this but for the most part in public schools students are dropping out at rates of 50-60 percent. You have to be kidding yourselves if you think this is fine. At the rate public schools are failing anything other than a whole sale change in our educational system, we as a country will fail. There is no more money for the current public school apparatus, it simply isn't working. Public schools are like the bank that's to big to fail. So it can only get worse. But on the other hand many would rather keep the system floating rather than look for alternatives that must include a heavily privatized component that shifts tax dollars away from these massive warehouses for kids that cost massive amounts of tax dollars just in upkeep to something that funnels that money to a classroom that can be internet based, church based, home schooled, charter schools but some type of educational system where competition drives down costs. If we could only look past the pride of KU and the beauty of all those buildings with names like Naismith we could reduce the need for so many mammoth educational systems for something less prideful but far more economical and practical. Let those who need the KU experience go to KU but lets create a system that forces KU to compete for those tax dollars. The rest of us can sit back and watch students in droves seek out a good education that is affordable but for the most part far more practical and just as effective in the post graduate job market.

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weeslicket 2 years, 8 months ago

uh oh. our beloved david booth will have copius lemon wedges thrown at him now.

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oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 8 months ago

Is this the Mr. Booth who donates to KU? Mr. Booth, taxes have been raised year after year, so have you not figured out now, it makes no difference how much they are raised, that there is no equation between intelligence and taxes? none!

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