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Archive for Thursday, July 28, 2011

Statehouse Live: Education rally scheduled for Saturday at Statehouse

July 28, 2011, 10:29 a.m. Updated July 28, 2011, 6:09 p.m.

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— Supporters of Kansas public schools will rally Saturday at the Capitol to protest state budget cuts to education.

“These devastating cuts to education funding are a disaster in the making for a state that has staked its future on development of a high-tech economy,” said Kathy Cook, executive director of Kansas Families for Education.

The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday on the south side of the Capitol.

Kansas Families for Education, Kansas National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers are sponsoring the rally, which is being held in conjunction with similar rallies at state capitals nationwide.

Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, and the GOP-controlled Legislature cut state aid to schools by $232 per pupil in the current fiscal year, which started July 1.

Brownback has said the cuts were necessary to help balance the overall state budget.

In the past several years, as the state has struggled with revenue shortfalls, per-pupil spending has dropped from $4,400 in the 2008-09 school year to the current level of $3,780.

Speakers at the rally will include elected officials, teachers, school board members, parents and students.

“There are higher demands on teachers and students and fewer resources to meet those demands,” said KNEA President Blake West. “Seldom do the voices of those dedicated and experienced teachers and parents who work in our public schools get heard. We know what’s suitable is for our students and their education. We will make our voices heard.”

Comments

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

65 Cents of every dollar Kansas spends from the general fund goes to education! The problem is how the money is being spent and the fact that far too much of that money goes into administration. We need to reform education in Kansas and not be satisfied with the status quo throwing more money into a broken system is not the answer. Kansans are willing to spend a great deal on education as evidenced by how much we already spend--but we want to get our moneys worth-- reform this system!

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WilburNether 2 years, 8 months ago

Is this event being staged by Schools for Selfishness and Greed? I know that the group that filed the lawsuit against the state calls themselves "Schools for Fair Funding," or some such nonsense, but schools for Selfishness and Greed is much more accurate. These people don't care about higher education, public safety, public health, highways, or anything else that state government funds. They want it ALL.

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situveux1 2 years, 8 months ago

Has Kathy Cook paid he property taxes yet? I'm sure the kids would love it if she paid her fair share.

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Dave Trabert 2 years, 8 months ago

A little clarification is in order. First, base state aid was not cut by $232 per pupil this year, it was reduced by $157. Base state aid was reduced by $75 last year, so the two-year total is $232.

Still, total aid to public schools increased both years. Total K-12 spending (including a small portion for running KSDE) was $2.710 billion in FY 2010. For the year just ended, total spending jumped by $261 million to $2.971 billion. This year, total spending is going up another $86 million to $3.057 billion...all according to Kansas Legislative Research. The base was reduced this year because increases in special education, pensions and aid to districts with bond payments more than used up the total increase in spending.

But the legislature also gave districts the option of using prior year surplus carryover funds (state and local tax dollars that weren't spent) to fully offset the two-year change of $232 per pupil. All but a handful of districts have the ability to do so and still have large per-pupil balances left over. Full details on the new law, the applicable funds and the amounts available by district are online (only) at http://www.kansasopengov.org/CarryoverTransfers/tabid/2113/Default.aspx

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SouthWestKs 2 years, 8 months ago

The people who care about education don't have the vote.. Looks like a very dumb move to me.. But the lame stream media will love it..

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SouthWestKs 2 years, 8 months ago

Good move.. Hold a rally when everybody is gone home!! You gota to love them though..

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