Advertisement

Archive for Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Brownback’s school funding plan will allow for more tax leeway

December 7, 2011

Advertisement

— Gov. Sam Brownback’s point man on school finance said Wednesday that the governor’s proposal to overhaul school funding will not force local districts to raise taxes but will give them greater ability to do so.

“If you can operate under what you have right now, it will not necessitate it,” Brownback’s Policy Director Landon Fulmer said when asked if the proposal would push more tax increases onto local districts.

But Fulmer told the Legislative Educational Planning Committee that the proposal would allow counties and local districts more leeway in raising property and sales taxes for their schools.

He said there is “a strong philosophical belief” in the Brownback administration to give locals unlimited control in raising funds for public schools.

As the committee questioned various proposals under Brownback’s plan, Committee Chair Jean Kurtis Schodorf, R-Wichita, said legislators needed facts about how the proposal would affect each school district. “The devil’s in the dollars,” she said.

Fulmer said he should have that information next week when he makes his second presentation to the State Board of Education.

Brownback has made overhauling the school finance system a major priority, saying the current formula is under constant litigation. But some have raised concerns, saying that allowing more local taxing authority will increase inequities between rich and poor school districts and actually will prompt more litigation.

Fulmer also said that Brownback’s proposal would include a “hold harmless” provision, meaning that no school district would get less money in the proposed school finance formula than under the current one.

But under questioning from committee members, Fulmer said some school districts would get less money if the number of students dropped.

“Your saying hold harmless light,” said Sen. Ruth Teichman, R-Stafford.

Brownback has made record cuts to base state aid to schools, which currently stands at $3,780 per pupil, the lowest level since 2000.

Committee members approved a motion to recommend no further cuts from the $3,780 level, which several said would be Brownback’s recommendation for the next school year. But Brownback’s office said his recommendation on base state aid per pupil is still being finalized.

Comments

William Weissbeck 2 years, 4 months ago

It is practically a gospel, scientific, absolute truth that when school funding tends away from general tax revenues to local sales and property taxes that the system becomes inequitable. It's not like this hasn't been tried in some form or another over the last 100 years in every state. The data is there - the GOP just wants to ignore it. The other inevitable push if not higher property or sales taxes is then local option county income taxes. In the end the affluent shelter themselves from the effects of taxes by where they choose to live and how they structure their wealth. The rest of us are then pitted against each other.

0

Carol Bowen 2 years, 4 months ago

None of governor's tax reforms have hit the state legislature yet. Most of the criticism has been from state democrats. Will state Republicans toe the party line like they do in D.C.?

0

Jane 2 years, 4 months ago

To get him out of office, register as a republican, & vote during the republican primary to exclude him. There are conservative republicans out there, y'know.

0

tange 2 years, 4 months ago

Everything must and indeed will be paid for, one way or another.

0

blindrabbit 2 years, 4 months ago

Just intercepted a tweet from someone called Dubya from Crawford, Texas addressed to Gov. Brownback, message said "You're doin a fine job Brownie". Seems like I heard this once before

0

verity 2 years, 4 months ago

How can local communities raise taxes? Property and sales tax of course. And what kind of taxes are these? Regressive of course. Is this about getting rid of the income tax? Of course. And dumbing down our public education and making way for vouchers---which, if I understand correctly, will not give a whole lot of help to either the lower or middle classes who want to send their kids to private schools.

Higher property and sales taxes will hurt people on a low or fixed income the most---particularly the retired.

Can someone tell me who this will benefit besides the wealthier parts of the state?

And has already been mentioned---we will all pay for this in the long run. A good education is the key to a successful democracy. I agree that just throwing money at something doesn't solve problems, but let's figure out a ways to cut waste and improve public education, not just defund it.

Even though I have no children, I benefit from living in a society where a good education is available to all.

0

JackMcKee 2 years, 4 months ago

This is all about Sam's dream of eliminating the income tax. Screw the poor and middle class. Basically everyone but about the richest couple thousand Kansans. You realize you're just a serf in their kingdom.

0

George Lippencott 2 years, 4 months ago

somebodynew (anonymous) says…

".....but will give them greater ability to do so."

Nice way to spin what amounts to "raise local taxes if you want anything -

Moderate Responds

And the rest of the state. If we get out of balance the courts will slap us down. Virginia has a system like this and if you raise your own taxes the state contribution declines so that inequities across the total system do not become unacceptably large.

0

martyks 2 years, 4 months ago

The people of Kansas who continue to vote against their own interests year after year deserve exactly what they get. Local taxes skyrocket? Basically, the middle class's taxes will skyrocket. The top 1% will see another loophole or another tax cut. I have no hope that anyone in this state will wake up until he completely over reaches beyond the pale as Scott Walker did in Wisconsin. (Now, for you Brownback hacks, I am not in high school so you cannot try to get me in trouble for expressing my views.)

0

Antonym 2 years, 4 months ago

The eastern civilized part of the state has been payin for them hillbillies out west for too long now. Make them pay their own way instead of demanding handouts from the city folk they bad mouth. They'll all be movin east after they use up all the water anyway. Nice move Sam.

0

consumer1 2 years, 4 months ago

We are screwed!! Get ready to see your taxes skyrocket!!

0

Steven Gaudreau 2 years, 4 months ago

“If you can operate under what you have right now, it will not necessitate it,” Brownback’s Policy Director Landon Fulmer said.

Since they have nothing now they will be forced to raise taxes. If there was a Fund For Fetus, Brownback would be throwing all the money at it. Save The Fetus, Screw The Kids!!! Save The Fetus, Screw The Kids!!!

0

WilburM 2 years, 4 months ago

Good discussion here. Rural districts get screwed, but I'm not sure that even JoCo (and certainly not Lawrence) are all that crazy about continually raising taxes. And oh by the way, that pesky constitution is sure to get in the way. BB is governor of ALL the state, and he should start acting like it.

0

Paul R Getto 2 years, 4 months ago

walkthehawk (anonymous) replies… I get the joke, but the sad (or scary, depending on how you look at it) truth is, we will pay now to educate these children, or we will pay later to house them in our prisons. The desperately poor aren't tea partiers. ====== Good point. Channeling Horace, are ye? The 'inventor' of the concept that the poor deserved an education, he was:
"Horace Mann : Jails and prisons are the complement of schools; so many less as you have of the latter, so many more must you have of the former. "

0

solsken66 2 years, 4 months ago

Pass the buck onto local authority. Many schoolchildren will suffer because of our State Leaders...governor and legislators who probably like us to dummy down the next generation. Easier to make those believe! The tax base is very unequal in populated versus unpopulted areas; lack of business versus big business; stagnant/decreasing growth versus increasing growth. Many areas will be unable to absorb large local tax increases.

0

William Weissbeck 2 years, 4 months ago

Why you ask? Because you end up with a 2 and 3 tier education system. Sort of like we tend to now. You carp about the 47% not paying federal taxes, but you don't want them to have a equal education. Forget the mistakes or choices their parents may have made, it's about the children and their future. Look at the schools of Blue Valley and tell me there is equality of opportunity elsewhere in the state.

0

Paul R Getto 2 years, 4 months ago

jafs: "Why limit what local areas can raise?" === Good point and you have just summarized much of the past 40 years worth of legal challenges and legislative issues concerning the school finance situation and the Kansas Constitution, Article 6.

0

jafs 2 years, 4 months ago

Actually, allowing local areas to raise as much money as they like for education isn't a bad idea.

As long as the state provides enough funding that even poor areas get an adequate educational system.

Why limit what local areas can raise?

0

texburgh 2 years, 4 months ago

Regarding Fulmer's remarks on "more flexibility..." When questioned by Sen. Marci Francisco how this plan gets more money "to the classroom" (as claimed by Fulmer) as opposed to the current plan, Fulmer told her that the state will tell districts how they can spend their state money. THEN he said districts would have more "flexibility." I guess that means no flexibility with state money (they will tell you what you can do with it) and flexibility with your locally raised money (which is exactly what is true today). In other words, less flexibility for school districts to meet their identified needs.

0

question4u 2 years, 4 months ago

"He said there is “a strong philosophical belief” in the Brownback administration to give locals unlimited control in raising funds for public schools."

No question. There is a strong philosophical belief that those who have should prosper and those who do not should know their place. Unequal access to education is a cornerstone of the Brownback administration's platform.

Brownback obviously doesn't have much respect for most Kansans, but it will be interesting to see whether they are really as dumb as he thinks they are. He evidently believes that they are not smart enough to recognize that making massive cuts to education and then saying you're welcome to keep things as they are or choose on your own to raise taxes is a blatant manipulation and obfuscation.

Brownback thinks that Kansans are stupid, and his educational policies are clearly designed to make them so.

0

autie 2 years, 4 months ago

Yup, Johnson county districts be tripping up in tall cotton now...while the poor districts (Cherokee county) ain't got nothing but dry teat. Good job Sam...will they need carbon credits after the electric gets turned off and the run the computer labs by candle light?

0

Bob_Keeshan 2 years, 4 months ago

Strong philosophical beliefs are no way to run a business and no way to run a government.

Particularly not when they run counter to the Kansas Constitution.

0

Number_1_Grandma 2 years, 4 months ago

Unconstitutional to say the least. Kansas constitution says Sam has to fund K-12 period.

The next elections can't come soon enough to rid Kansas of this nut case before he ruins it beyond repair!!!

0

woodscolt 2 years, 4 months ago

You could almost say brownback blowsalot. Step right up, get your magic elixar here. Another brownback snake oil that will favor the Brownback cronies and penalize those who are taking the brunt of financing his ideologies. This would create a catastrophic hit on the overall quality of education. Doing it the Brownback way.

0

walkthehawk 2 years, 4 months ago

the problem is, raising taxes doesn't necessarily mean raising money, at least not in the amounts necessary for a functioning school district. Lawrence and JoCo will in all likelihood be just fine, but this will cripple cities and districts like KCK, which has a visionary superintendent and the highest test scores in more than twenty years, but virtually no tax base to draw from. I realize that the governor, and many republicans, don't give a damn about KCK and similar districts, but that is short-sighted--the state's interests are not well-served, over the long term, by failing to educate its poor.

0

Gandalf 2 years, 4 months ago

I wonder if I can arrest Evil sam for impersonating a governor? Where can I buy some handcuffs?

0

average 2 years, 4 months ago

Somewhat clever, from a political POV. This really puts the screw hard on small rural districts. But, they'd vote GOP even if the Republicans started burning small towns to the ground. It benefits the Johnson County districts the most since they can improve their schools substantially with a small additional mill levy, without the cost of bringing every other student in the state up (or competing with Aiden and Hunter for jobs/scholarships). And it's the Johnson County GOP votes that are a little squishy on Brownback. And who donate big bucks to campaigns.

0

Gandalf 2 years, 4 months ago

School finance lawyers are singing: It's beginning to look a lot like Xmas....

0

Paul R Getto 2 years, 4 months ago

“The devil’s in the dollars,” === The understatement of the year so far. Funding the formula would help; shifting taxes to local units of government without equalization will just open up another door for litigation.

0

KSManimal 2 years, 4 months ago

“If you can operate under what you have right now, it will not necessitate it,”

In other words, if you're OK with funding that falls over a billion dollars short of what the legislature's own costs studies show is necessary; then you won't need to raise local taxes.

Hey brownie, tired of being sued? Try upholding the constitution - you know, like you swore to do when you took office. Or show us where in the KS constitution it says that funding public schools is a local responsibility.... We're waiting......

weknowwhatyoudoalot

0

somebodynew 2 years, 4 months ago

".....but will give them greater ability to do so."

Nice way to spin what amounts to "raise local taxes if you want anything - the State isn't going to finance a good education system unless you are rich enough to pay for it yourself".

0

candacemiler 2 years, 4 months ago

To bring down cost and time to degree, High Speed Universities fundamentally changed the business model of higher education. Traditional universities, with their residence halls, football teams, laboratories and theaters, would have difficulty following in High Speed Universities footsteps.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.