Letters to the Editor

Selective cuts

February 15, 2011


To the editor:

House Majority Leader Siegfried, R-Olathe, is reported on the front page of Sunday’s paper as saying “we don’t cut (school budgets) for fun, we’re cutting out of necessity.”

While an article on page 12A of Sunday’s paper reports that Gov. Brownback has approved at least $200 million for highway improvements for 2011.

Clearly the necessity for not spending state money applies to our children but not to our cars.

The actions of elected officials in the state government show us that it is more important to drive on bigger and broader highways than it is to educate our kids, the future voters of Kansas.


SinoHawk 7 years, 4 months ago

$200,000,000 on highway improvements? Try $6,426,161,783.49 on education! I understand that the schools don't want to take it on the nose, but education is the single largest portion of the state budget (24%) and it would be impossible to balance the budget while excluding their entire budget. The next biggest portion of the budget is "bond service", followed by "Kansas Health Policy Authority", social services, and KPERS. Each of those is difficult to cut, as well.

I believe that that 200M was also the result of a specific bond issue for transportation, which means that it couldn't be used for ordinary education operating expenses.

I don't know all the details of the cuts (haven't read through them), so I don't know that I support them. I merely suspect that the 200M for transportation isn't the item to focus on. Just my $.02

Paul R Getto 7 years, 4 months ago

SH: 5,589,549,135 is a more accurate number (KS State Dept of Education, 2009-2010 totals.) Because the funds are complicated by Federal money and legislative rules as they have monkeyed wih the the formula over the years, and because the district reserves are often misunderstood, the numbers are somewhat fungible. The reserves are important for paying bills on time and making payroll, particularly when the state withholds some of the monthly payments due to cash flow. Simply put, Kansas general fund budget is about 66% schools and higher education. This is pretty typical for many states and why we have such a well-educated populace in most states. You can find a few states that don't spend as much on their K-12 systems, Mississippi, for example, but I doubt most people would hustle on down to enroll their children there.

grimpeur 7 years, 4 months ago

KDOT's budget is about 1.4B. But it costs a hell of a lot more than that to support the habits of KS motorists, starting with recent increases in local sales taxes.

After all, almost 1B of that comes from sources other than fuel taxes.

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