Archive for Monday, January 24, 2011

Statehouse Live: Brownback’s budget cuts raise concerns about special education funding

Mike Mathes, who is superintendent of the Seaman school district in Shawnee County, and president-elect of the Kansas School Superintendents Association, talks Monday about concerns he has with Gov. Sam Brownback's proposed budget and the effect it will have on special education funding. Mathes' comments came after he testified to the House Appropriations Committee which is going over Brownback's budget recommendation.

January 24, 2011


— Not only would Gov. Sam Brownback's proposed budget cut school funding, it could result in a federal penalty of $70 million in special education funding, officials said Monday.

The disclosure came as legislators started analyzing the details of Brownback's proposed budget cuts for the current fiscal year that are contained in House Bill 2014 before the House Appropriations Committee.

Brownback's budget recommendation would cut school funding in the current school year by $132 million, which would reduce base state aid per student from $4,012 to $3,937, or $75 per pupil.

It would also cut special education funding by $16.7 million.

Such a cut would put state funding below what is needed to get its full share of federal dollars. The result could mean a loss of $70 million in federal funds, officials said.

"By not spending $16.7 million this year, we could be in the hole $70 million over the next two years," said Mike Mathes, who is president-elect of the Kansas School Superintendents Association and superintendent of the Seaman school district in Shawnee County.

Mathes said that reduction in federal funds would mean that school districts would have to use their general fund dollars to make up for the shortfall in special education.

Asked if a looming federal penalty was a concern, Brownback's policy director Landon Fulmer said it was but that the governor had to make tough decisions to balance the budget.

Fulmer said if the $16.7 million is restored in the current fiscal year budget, then "you end up in the red" in the next fiscal year.

"We are trying to make do with the best decisions that we can going forward," he said.

Conservative Republicans on the Appropriations Committee asked Mathes if schools could use reserve funds to cover any federal penalty.

Mathes said some of those funds could be used but that most reserve funds are legally dedicated to specific purposes, such as paying off bonds, or held back for emergencies, such as building repairs, or to make payroll when the state delays payments to schools.

The committee is expected to work on the bill Tuesday.


usnsnp 4 years, 10 months ago

Here we go again, state will cause loss of money to school systems from the Federal Government for programs that are mandated. Thus school districts will have to find the money from some other place which means that either other programs are cut or property tax will rise. But then the Governor can say, see it did not spend this money it was the local school districts that raised taxes.

smarty_pants 4 years, 10 months ago

I knew of a severely and proufoundly handicapped who "attended" school at Hillcrest. This child who was strapped in a specially designed wheelchair appeared to be unable to move or communicate at all. However, had his own private bus plus two or three paraprofessionals attending to him at all times in addition to the special education "teacher." I used to wonder what the point was of him attending school. Honestly, I believed it was mostly to give his parents a break. Can we afford to keep doing this?

ivalueamerica 4 years, 10 months ago

You need education.

You can not tell by looking at him what is level of congitive ability is nor the stimulation and education he gets for education. I realize you would be happy to throw everyone into a facility like they used to in the 50's, but thank GOD you do not make those decisions.

The entire issue was brought home to me in a very real way when I was working in Texas, some ignorant moron who was NOT a doctor told a family that their daughter was catatonic and would never be more than a vegetable and they should lock her away...which they did.

When she was bout 30, an attentive nurse in the Institution noticed she reacted to things with her eyes and after a serious of experts got through with her, they discovered the poor woman was fully in tact cognitively and fully aware of her surroundings. She knew language from hearing people speak around her and having television in the room. She now communicates through a complex computer system that reads her eye movements. For 30 years she was treated like you wish to treat that student. You make me angry.

notanota 4 years, 10 months ago

All children are by federal law required to be given an appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment possible. Usually that means inclusion in the classroom. You don't know the cognitive abilities of this child. You're just guessing. That child could have severe CP and be perfectly intelligent.

I also love how you put "teacher" in quotes when referring to special education, because we all know people in special education courses don't actually learn, right? Even if someone won't ever be a rocket scientist or do anything more challenging than sack groceries, they deserve a public education and the chance to work a job when possible and some degree of self determination, even if that sometimes means they'll never be capable of living that life without a lot of help from others. And yes, that means we'll all have to pay for it, because we're human beings and not monsters.

whatamess 4 years, 10 months ago

"Can we afford to keep doing this?" I respectfully opine that "yes, as long as we have a state & federal government that is more-and more right-leaning/pro-life at all costs, yes, we have no alternative but to keep doing this". Parents don't wish for a child to be born with such disabilities, and if like most parents, abhor the notion of pregnancy termination of their baby, yes, because unless you are ubber-wealthy, a working family will be devastated at the costs of care and support for the severely and profoundly handicapped.

If we value all human life, we must support and nurture (including financially) those who can not care for themselves. We, as a society, are only as moral and good as how we treat those who need community support the most.

For those who say " 'it's for the kids'", no. Money into education is for OUR future when we can no longer care for ourselves or no longer have family to care for us.

smarty_pants 4 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, Why not provide nursing home care?

George_Braziller 4 years, 10 months ago

OK this comment shows how truly clueless your are on the entire subject.

Kyle Reed 4 years, 10 months ago

Here is a thought...why not try providing a clue to smarty_pants instead of just pointing fingers and calling names? Civility people. You all preach it and not a one of you practice it.

George_Braziller 4 years, 10 months ago

It's so basic I thought it wasn't necessary. Spend $50,000 on special education and training in school so the student can live with supports in the community or spend $50,000 a year for 60 years or so to house them in a nursing home.

Is that clear enough? It's simple math.

tomatogrower 4 years, 10 months ago

George is right. Not to mention the arguments that were given above, that he apparently did not read. Years ago, children with Down's Syndrome were thought to be unteachable. With early intervention, we have discovered that they can go quite far in their education. Please read all the posts.

idea 4 years, 10 months ago

This shortfall of $16.7 million would amount to about $5.93 per person for the entire year. To put that in a “Feed the Children” figure, less that 2 cents per day. And yet we won’t raise taxes because of a stubborn partisan idea. How many people in this state would be willing to chip in an extra $6/year to make sure that a very needy group of people doesn’t go without? I’d be willing to chip in a lot more than that to make sure that those who really need help get it. Are we so selfish and unwilling to sacrifice that $6/year is too much? Even now, in the worst recession since the Great Depression, we can afford $6/year. This makes me feel ill, giving up $70 million in aid to the needy because we can’t cough up pocket change. Now our federal tax dollars, that WE pay are going to go to another state, and we will look like the most selfish and self-centered fools, because we refuse to raise taxes by a pittance. And make no mistake, it won’t be Brownback who refuses to do this. When we go outside of our state people will say, “You guys really won’t fund education in your state?” All of us will look bad if we allow this to happen.

Fossick 4 years, 10 months ago

"I’d be willing to chip in a lot more than that to make sure that those who really need help get it. "

Are you chipping it in now? Or are you waiting until someone takes the money from you and then claiming a halo for your sharing? That's not a question specifically at you, idea, but at all of us.

As you note, $17 million dollars is not a lot of money. If everyone who is fretting about all these cuts actually gave - gave until it hurt them - to organizations which already exist and provide similar services, they could probably provide an even better future for these folks. Give more than 6 bucks a year, give up a movie or a dinner out each week.

What is important to us is measured by how we actually spend our money, not by how we dream about spending the money of others. Let's all take a look through the check register with that in mind, and I'll bet we'd be a little embarrassed to call others selfish.

idea 4 years, 10 months ago

Nope. I stand by what I said. And I do not expect a halo for this. I consider it to be civic duty, which is all too easily forgotten. That is what it means to be a part of a society, supporting those who are weaker than yourself. It is funny how easy it is to make an excuse for not doing what is right. And the more often we do it the easier it gets. And, as I stated in my previous post, I am talking solely about my own money. I am guessing that I am not the only one who feels this way, and therefore guess that we could easily make up for such a small shortfall from those who would be willing to chip in. Furthermore, what we are going to give up if we do not do this is money that we have already, or soon will pay, to the federal government. It does not make sense to me to A.) not pay a tiny tax that will help those in need, and B.) give up federal tax dollars that I will pay regardless because we can't raise the taxes of this state by pocketchange.

idea 4 years, 10 months ago

Let me remind you that if we remove enough of these taxes people will also leave the state, because no one will want their child to be in such a sad education system. We've cut the education spending in this state time and again. Maybe it's time to leave it be, and when things start to get better, tax some of the businesses that are currently getting a free ride while we pay. What would you cut? And what would you hold to be absolutely necessary? I bet if this directly affected you it would be an unthinkable cut. But you are unwilling to extend this courtesy to any one else in need? Do you think special ed students should go without? That is the current question in play, not what is my ideal society when it comes to taxes. I say that this is one step too far. And what do you say?

idea 4 years, 10 months ago

Man, how far off topic do you really wanna get here. almost none of what you just said has anything t do with the original conversation. Or are we just venting because we're angry at the world. How about this I give up 2 cups of coffe a year and you give up your internet service. Everybody wins. And while you're at it how do you expect anyone to answer for what their neighbor should give up? I can't say what they should give up, only that they can afford this. Now I'm done talking about this because this conversation is rapidly devolving into someone's view of what is wrong with the entire world.

tomatogrower 4 years, 10 months ago

"Are we so selfish and unwilling to sacrifice that $6/year is too much? "

In a word, yes, many Americans have become too selfish. It's all about them. They don't see why they should pay for education when they don't have any kids, even though most of them attended a public school which was then supported by everyone, including those without children. People no longer have the pioneer spirit. Or in the days of the pioneers, they would have been the ones who would never show up to help a neighbor raise a barn. They would have said "It's not my barn, so why should I care."

inquire 4 years, 10 months ago

Pffft. Is that ALL he can do? Seriously, let's just close ALL the schools for one calendar year. We save all that money but even better, we could just send all those kids to work. Yes, unskilled jobs are still in demand. So, not only do we save lots and lots of money, but we'll actually be making more money on taxes from the kids! As an added bonus, we'll be able to show the next generation of Kansans what they have to look forward to for the rest of their lives! It's a true, real to life learning scenario. Thanks Sam for the inspiration!

gudpoynt 4 years, 10 months ago

"Fulmer said [a looming federal penalty was a concern] but that the governor had to make tough decisions to balance the budget."

But none of those decisions had to do with raising taxes. At all. For anyone. Ever. We are Republicans.

"Fulmer said if the $16.7 million is restored in the current fiscal year budget, then 'you end up in the red' in the next fiscal year."

Unless of course, we were to raise taxes. But we won't do that. At all. For anyone. Ever. We are Republicans.

"We are trying to make do with the best decisions that we can going forward"

But that will not involve raising taxes. At all. For anyone. Ever. We are Republicans.

Hey Republicans, would you please stop playing chicken with public education funding? Would you please not poo a brick at the mention of tax increases, and at least put them on the table as on option to be considered? Would you please stop placing tax incentives for private industry higher on the priority list than public education?

In other words, would you stop being Republicans for long enough to start acting like problem solvers? (HINT: Your re-election is not the problem that needs to be solved).

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 10 months ago

"But that will not involve raising taxes. At all. For anyone. Ever. We are Republicans."

That's not true. This Republican legislature and governor will be raising taxes (as they did last session) but it will be on the working poor and the middle class, while giving tax reductions to the Koch brothers, et al.

Mary Darst 4 years, 10 months ago

So much for federal mandates. Maybe, Brownback , should teach a couple years to fully understand what effects a budget cut will have. Maybe he should be responsible for No Child Left Behind. Those special ed groups are being tested too.

notanota 4 years, 10 months ago

Those groups are already failing AYP in Lawrence. Let's see what less funding does for them.

George Lippencott 4 years, 10 months ago

OK everybody wants more money for special ed. Anybody think about re-examining the program to assess ROI? When 94-142 was going through the Congress much attention was paid to how the program would save money in the long run by helping students complete school and become productive.

I have heard recent stories about the evolution of the program that suggest that we have strayed to the notion that we should improve the quality of life for grossly handicapped children as the new goal. That may be moral but taking every increasing sums from the productive portion of our economy is not moral.

Has our hearts out paced our heads?

pittstatebb 4 years, 10 months ago

Moderate - You are making the incorrect assumption that most or many or even a majority of special education students will never be able to hold down any sort of job. The reality is that the vast majority of special education students are quite capable of holding down a job, living a normal life, paying taxes into the system instead of consuming taxes through prison/welfare. There are few statistics that break down SPED students by functional ability, so I can only speak to my experiences in 10 years of teaching, but you could not pick out most special ed students in a line up. In fact, many of them outperform their peers b/c they had parents who cared about their situation and sought out interventions. I currently have 4 students in my math classes that are special ed (3 in Geometry and 1 in College Algebra). All have higher than a C. All will be productive citizens and in 10 years you will never know they were label as special ed. The statistics simply do not support your view.

George Lippencott 4 years, 10 months ago

Pitts state

I don't think we are too far off in positions. I am, however, aware of IEPs with a $100K annual cost to basically toilet train. IMHO we can not afford that. A relook to focus resources on those who were covered in the original intent (the ones I believe you refer to in your post) to reverse the "mission creep" that has occurred would again IMHO prove quite instructive.

notanota 4 years, 10 months ago

Really? You're "aware?" Do you have a PhD in developmental psychology or an MD in developmental pediatrics you can use to give us the long term prognosis of these cases? Better yet, can you explain how it is that you got this information that by privacy law may not be shared with you?

Let me guess, your "awareness" is, in fact, rumor and speculation. Even more, just getting a severely disabled child to potty train IS worth the ROI, because it saves on longterm health and attendant care costs over that person's lifetime.

gudpoynt 4 years, 10 months ago

Are you suggesting that our heads should always out pace our hearts? When is it OK to let your heart win out in the decision making process?

Some investments are made in the name of morality without any expectation for ROI. I appreciate your thoughtful, respectful views on issues, and I don't doubt that you understand this. But when you bring up ROI when talking about taking care of the disabled, it sounds pretty cold.

I'm not advocating throwing money away, as so many liberals are accused of whenever public monies are concerned, forget about the context. Of course, money should be spent as wisely as possible. But it's hard to equate dollars with the value that, say, a dedicated para professional provides for a non verbal Down Syndrome student. And even if you come up with a figure, it certainly doesn't equate the dollar amount that said student will put back into society.

In other words, how the money is spent should certainly be considered, just as it always should. But not in the context of ROI.

Ken Lassman 4 years, 10 months ago

If we have created our own demise, none2, I think I would look a little less closely at the paraprofessional helping a developmentally disabled student to remain in school with his peers and a little bit more closely at the financiers who developed derivatives, politicians who deregulated them, bankers who packaged sub-prime mortgages into toxic assets, sold them to get a hefty commission, or fiscal policy makers who rationalized buying these "high interest" assets because they could buy insurance to cover the losses.

I'll take investing my money on building community over the latest financial turbocharged tool any day, and I suggest you do the same. That's the only choice that will stop your societal decline, not cutting paraprofessionals from the schools.

George Lippencott 4 years, 10 months ago

Is it possible to have a point of order with both?? I have posted repeatedly about the misalignment of income in this country – frequently to a deafening silence (except for LO)

What disturbs me in this blog world is the seeming reluctance to accept that resources are finite and that what we spend on one thing we can not spend on another. In further recognition of our new civil world should we not recognize that not everyone agrees with any specific funding choice no matter how heart felt the underlying goal. Some people want bombers and not with a bake sale.

In a given week on here we have the homeless, hungry, uninsured, mentally ill, severely handicapped, unemployed, undocumented, oppressed and more. Which should we fund and to what level? Is it possible to fund them all? I remind you that my little search of major means tested federal programs yielded an investment of about $18K per acknowledged poor person. That is not chump change.

There is another thread ongoing here about higher ed. Frankly, why pursue a time consuming and demanding professional degree if the outcome is to be measured by need rather than ability or contribution. You know the Soviets never found the” new man" and abandoned the each according dictum very early in their game.

We take upwards of 50% (not counting SS) from a wage earner making $100K. In some corners that is a couple making $50K each. Just how much more can we take and not end up with less because nobody wants to spend the time working to get no return. Yes, the notion is cold. It is also consistent with history.

Choice is necessary and I challenge any of you to support how we can do it all. There is just not enough money even if we zeroed defense (and laid off a lot of people) and went to a 100% tax rate on those in the top 1%.

Following our hearts is good – tempering that lead with common sense is better – IMHO.

jafs 4 years, 10 months ago

How do you get more than 50% (not including SS) on a $100,000 salary?

In our bracket, we pay about 20% in total taxes, including SS.

George Lippencott 4 years, 10 months ago

JAFS I have accounted for it on here before.

Fed 23% effective State 6% effective property 4% effective Sales 3% effective Medicaid 3% effective PP 1% effective Indirect taxes estimated between 5 and 15%

This includes public policy initiaitves in utilities, environmental mandates and a never ending list of requirements that drive up the costs of everything

George Lippencott 4 years, 10 months ago

Well, I think our hearts need to be part of what we do. That said we need to remember that the public purse not only contains the full measure from the wealthy but the mite from the widow. Hurting one to help the other does not make us moral.

gudpoynt 4 years, 10 months ago

very true.

However, DougCounty's post above, albeit a bit dramatic, touches on the idea that there might be protections in the current state budget proposals that, if given proper public scrutiny, would not stand up to the proposed cuts looming before us.

I maintain that public education should be at the apex of budget priorities. The very top. If we've trimmed all the fat, from the top down, and there is still a need to make these drastic cuts to public education in order to work our way toward the black, then so be it. But I'm skeptical.

notanota 4 years, 10 months ago

When times are tough, we need to sacrifice. By paying more taxes! Seriously, if it's a choice between me getting a fancy coffee or some kid in a wheelchair getting to school, I'm picking the kid.

notanota 4 years, 10 months ago

We're not discussing other worthwhile causes, the kitchen sink, or the viability of locally roasted and served (and therefore local business income generating) coffee that could have been grown on the Kona coast of Hawaii. We're discussing special education funding, and no, it's not an infinite amount of money. It's 16 million, and it's something we can finance.

Or we could further depress the local economy by taking future spending from income and tax generating disabled children out of the mix and adding the expense of their care in terms of tax dollars and time relatives must spend away from their jobs in order to provide it. Not to mention the lost matching funds that we'll be legally obligated to finance our selves at the expense of general ed students and other taxpayers.

notanota 4 years, 10 months ago

That's why we need to raise taxes. We can't cut that one thing. We can't cut the other things, so we should raise revenue. A courageous governor would make those hard decisions instead of pandering to his buddies and kicking disabled children.

George Lippencott 4 years, 10 months ago

Send in your $10. We will see how many others support you!

notanota 4 years, 10 months ago

How about I come over to your house with a couple of disabled kids, so you can personally tell them that they're not worth your $10 to educate? Maybe I'll find a bright but autistic child who is really good at math and they can calculate just how much more expensive it is to care for them later than it is to educate them now.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 10 months ago

Is this post real? And if so, does the author have alternatives? Institutionalization? Euthanizing? What?

In our country, EVERY child is entitled to a public education. Every child. Not just the ones born here, not just the ones who are "like" everyone else, not just the ones who can afford it.

Every child.

smarty_pants (anonymous) says… I knew of a severely and proufoundly handicapped who "attended" school at Hillcrest. This child who was strapped in a specially designed wheelchair appeared to be unable to move or communicate at all. However, had his own private bus plus two or three paraprofessionals attending to him at all times in addition to the special education "teacher." I used to wonder what the point was of him attending school. Honestly, I believed it was mostly to give his parents a break. Can we afford to keep doing this?

George Lippencott 4 years, 10 months ago

And financially devastating to those paying the bill. Please feel free to enrich to your harts content. I would like to keep some of my money that I earned the hard way - worked to get it.

notanota 4 years, 10 months ago

Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

George Lippencott 4 years, 10 months ago


What did we do with them in 1950?? If that is on end of the options than why is an increase the only other option?

WilburM 4 years, 10 months ago

Beyond all the philosophizing, it's simply stupid to cut $16M when the ultimate costs will be $70M. This is nuts. And that program will be there next year. Are we truly going to cut off our collective noses to spite our face?

Ideology is one thing, making fiscal sense is another.

BB is simply digging the hole deeper here. Stop!

George Lippencott 4 years, 10 months ago

I agree with this one. Of course the next increment is another $20 M to get $100M. Note the $70 M and the $100M are not real but based on debt the kids wil have to pay

But as always with a comment. Why am I sending my money to Washington so that they can bribe me to get it back. How about we reduce federal educational spending by $70M and use it here as we may need it.

Well, O it was my plan to use it along the way.

George Lippencott 4 years, 10 months ago

The $16M is $10 per taxpayer. Everybody send there $10 to the gov and we will not have to cut special ed. Surely everybody will send it in for such a cherished cause?

I might observe that Kansas spends the vast majority of the budget on schools and Medicaid. Should we cut K-12? How about KU? Maybe the disabled? CHIPS?

maybe $20 would be better?

Joe Blackford II 4 years, 10 months ago

Mod, Sam spoke last night before the Kansas Bioscience crowd; crowing about the National Bio- & Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF). Ask Sam to pull back his curtain of transparency & show what the "competition" for the NBAF cost us:

KSU built Pat Roberts Hall (BRI), a BSL-3 lab, which costs us taxpayers $1 Million/yr to operate. For several years, until it was certified, it accomplished nothing but photo ops for NBAF PR..

Sam & Pat got us a $3 Million set-aside for KSU's NABC, administered by the daughter of KSU's biggest donor, Vanier, & wife of the infamous AD Bob Krause, who gave Coach Prince $3 Million under the table. Recall that Glasscock, Krause & Wefald took their $ off the top of the sale of Nutri-Joy to CocaCola (a NISTAC-spinoff). Glasscock runs NISTAC @ KSU.

WSU's wind tunner lab has told KBA to go fly a kite, we get our own contracts, pay our own way. KSU's labs will be nothing but a drain on US & State tax dollars from here to the end of their ~ 35-year lifespans. All the while, a threat to Kansas agriculture & Kansans.

Google: Franz Ivins NBAF & look @ the comment I posted on DHS' website. Stop wasting tax $ on a lab intended to enrich a few KSU alums, including those @ Midwest Research Institute, KC, MO.

George Lippencott 4 years, 10 months ago

OK, but where does thta free up money for Special Ed?? besides are there not a bunch of people elsewhare in Kansas happy with these efforts?

Alfred_W 4 years, 10 months ago

Don't forget that gifted programs also fall under special education, with IEP required for each high achieving/ability student. And since those kids are already making the needed scores for AYP, guess where the cuts will be. We will still keep up with NCLB, but will also be dragging our best and brightest back toward the average. That means one of the attributes that attracts skilled and white collar jobs - an excellent education system (as measured by standardized test scores, number of nat'l merit scholars, etc) - will suffer.

kugrad 4 years, 10 months ago

This news shows that there is an issue of competence in the office of the budget director and the office of the governor. They don't even understand our state laws. This had to be brought to their attention. You can't both provide an adequate public education and make further cuts to the already financially stressed public school system. There are issues that need to be taken above the political fray. Unfortunately, those who continue to invoke the names of the Koch brothers and the political anti-public-education group they fund here in Kansas are not crazy conspiracy theorists. The current budget director worked for them prior to taking the job. These recommendations come straight from a Koch funded special interest lobby . This is an example of government at its worst. We have a governor who publically declares improving reading as measured by the 4th grade state test as one of his four major goals, yet he cuts funding to education and plans privately with pro-voucher groups and anti-public education forces. Despite many polls showing Kansans support public education and are willing to pay for it, our government aligns with the anti-tax crowd led by businesses and not by ordinary citizens. They no longer care what the people have to say about the issue, their minds are made up.

bunnyhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

I challenge our new governor to help us all understand how he can reconcile his Christian protestations with his plans to balance the Kansas State budget on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens -- the medically fragile, the elderly, school children, and the poor. I cannot help but wonder if his Bible is missing what I have always been told is Jesus' most important teaching: The Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you have them them do unto you." But then, Mr. Brownback and his family have more than adequate income and excellence health insurance--so his draconian plans won't affect them at all. These are sad times for all Kansans. We will all have the suffering of our least fortunate citizens on our consciences for a long time to come.

Kontum1972 4 years, 10 months ago

any of u big time kansas lottery winners want to donate....we know your out there,,,just think of the big tax break u will be able to write off....and the people u will help....

Kontum1972 4 years, 10 months ago

i didnt vote for him.....i voted for PEE Wee Herman

Chocoholic 4 years, 10 months ago

Cutting wasteful spending is good.

Having more money to spend doesn't always mean it's spent in the most efficient or effective way.

However, with education in KS, the cuts are beyond just cutting the fat. It's like hitting a plateau in weight loss, and deciding the best way to continue losing is to cut off a leg--or your head.

And darn. New Jersey beat us to Mark Zuckerberg.

William Weissbeck 4 years, 10 months ago

For these wacko creationist Christians, it's amazing to me how in their hearts they really believe in some corrupted view of Darwinian evolution - survival of the fittest. Let's just have a class based/wealth based education system, where those who can afford it, get the best; the majority get some basic "Little House of the Prairie" version, and the most needy end up on the streets of a Kansas version of Bombay.

William Weissbeck 4 years, 10 months ago

For these wacko creationist Christians, it's amazing to me how in their hearts they really believe in some corrupted view of Darwinian evolution - survival of the fittest. Let's just have a class based/wealth based education system, where those who can afford it, get the best; the majority get some basic "Little House of the Prairie" version, and the most needy end up on the streets of a Kansas version of Bombay.

Christine Hammon 4 years, 10 months ago

Have we forgotten that all gifted and excelled learner programs are classified as Special Education? Special Education encompasses all types of learners who need extra help/special services.....or should we let them suffer too? Oh sure, bored and bright, that's how they end up in the penal system.

And how can any cuts in education help?

And for Smarty Pants who thinks a nursing home is the answer....go visit one. Really, even the best ones, say at dinner time...or after dinner time when the overworked staff is trying to meet everyone's needs at the same time....or will you agree to an increase in funding for nursing homes? We can always go back and revisit Willowbrook.

George Lippencott 4 years, 10 months ago

So in your opinion the choice is never ending increases in resources for education ( is it really education when the resource is directed at addressing a physical or mental challenge). How did we survive in the 50s. The data that I can find suggests that our kids were no more or less competitive in the world, our crime statistics were no better or worse and our challenged children were accommodated some how - maybe they starved on the street?? My argument is not about whether there may still be progress to be made but whether our approaches are the most efficient given that IMHO we do not have infinite resources.

George Lippencott 4 years, 10 months ago

notanota (anonymous) replies

I appreciate your humanistic focus. In your world I suppose we would all live in little communes and share everything - the little we produced.

In my world the wife and I have responsibilities to things other than the schools. We have the agonizing need to prioritize. You wrap the mantle of goodness about you and make it harder for the rest of us. Is that the civil thing to do?

By the by, wife has 20 plus years of Special Education experience as a teacher and administrator. I am not ignorant of the topic.

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