Archive for Saturday, March 12, 2011

Statehouse Live: Groups criticize Brownback over budget cuts

March 12, 2011


— Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget cuts will hurt public schools and low-paid state employees, representatives of those groups said.

On Friday, Brownback ordered $56.5 million in cuts after fellow Republican budget negotiators in the Legislature couldn’t reach an agreement on how to balance the state budget for the remaining part of the fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Brownback said the cuts were needed to bring the budget into balance by the end of the fiscal year as required by law. “These are certainly difficult times and difficult choices must be made. We must return fiscal sanity to government,” he said.

The Legislature faces a deeper shortfall for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, of nearly $500 million.

Of that $56.5 million in cuts, Brownback sliced schools by $50.2 million.

“Making public schools great for every child is not on this governor’s agenda,” said Blake West, president of the Kansas National Education Association.

Referring to Brownback’s Roadmap for Kansas, which the governor proposed during his campaign, West said, “It seems Gov. Brownback’s `Roadmap for Education’ is an unpaved path taking our students back to the 19th century.”

Jane Carter, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, criticized Brownback for cutting $1.3 million from state employees who were found through a state study to be severely underpaid and were given a market adjustment.

“It is disappointing that everyone who received a market adjustment for this current fiscal year 2011 back on July 1, 2010, will get a pay cut from their already inadequate paychecks,” Carter said. “This move is clearly an assault on state employees and an indication that our budget shortfalls will be passed off on to the public servants of the state,” she said.


seeker_of_truth 3 years, 1 month ago

Don't see any difference between the Brown's, both are worthless.


kugrad 3 years, 1 month ago

It is true that our local delegation (on both sides of the aisle) is frustrated over this, but with one exception. Anthony Brown, who represents Eudora and parts of Lawrence (north and by prairie park) talks out of both sides of his mouth. He will do whatever his conservative buds tell him to do as he has no backbone of his own. Don't confuse him with Tony Brown, Baldwin, who is excellent.

This crap comes from Kansas Policy Institute, Americans for Prosperity, and other Koch bros. front groups that pretend to represent grass roots Kansans but actually represent business interests that could care less about education. Note that our local Chamber of Commerce supports public education. Note also that the Senate Majority Leader (Morris) also thinks Brownback is doing the wrong thing here. In other words, there is a broad bipartisan group of intelligent people who agree that Gov. Brownback is going too far here. The old "liberal" or "Leftie" name-calling tactics won't work on this issue.


Agnostick 3 years, 1 month ago

I have little or no love to lose for Brownback, but yet again I must ask: Why are legislators getting free pass on this?

Or did you folks intentionally send your senators and representatives to Topeka to diddle themselves, and each other over strip clubs for a week... while the state budget and school finance sat on the bottom of the pile, the lowest priority on the list?


Tom Shewmon 3 years, 1 month ago

If the left wants to put their propensity for total fiscal irresponsibility on full parade, fine by me. The chickens have come to roost, to borrow a phrase from Rev. Wright.


sully97 3 years, 1 month ago

The real agenda: his donors

At the top of the list? Wait for it.. Wait for it...

Koch Industries.

You know who's not on that list? KNEA. This is just more of the national republican campaign to destroy unions, the middle class, the two party system and democracy writ large.

Take to the streets


coderob 3 years, 1 month ago

If these cuts include cuts to school lunches, I vote we start calling him Brownbag.


kernal 3 years, 1 month ago

Gov. Brownback, you get what you pay for.


yourworstnightmare 3 years, 1 month ago

Of course educational associations are in opposition. What is getting less coverage is the extent of GOP dissatisfaction with this move.

GOP voters and lawmakers from Johnson County are not happy, and this was compounded by the recent judicial ruling that Shawnee Mission cannot raise their own taxes to pay for their local schools.

This could be the opening salvo in a war that will continue to divide the GOP in Kansas.


proudtoteach 3 years, 1 month ago

the governor’s proposed $3,780 base aid per pupil for fiscal 2012 would be the lowest since the 1999-00 school year’s $3,770 and, adjusted for inflation, nearing the spending level of 1992

Read more:


Shardwurm 3 years, 1 month ago

Of course the people who were slated to the money would be opposed to it.

Everyone knows that better education is all about how much money you spend on it and has nothing to do with efficiency or people just doing their jobs like their supposed to.

If we picked one school in Kansas and gave it a billion dollars for one year do you really think their average student performance would improve that much? If you went to Lawrence High and gave every teacher there $250,000 would they suddenly become so much better that all the students score in the top 1 percent? (One thing we know for sure in this scenario is they'd all b&$$# about the taxes.)

It's not about the money. It's how we're spending it and who we're giving it to. Pay the good teachers, fire the bad ones. Until you can do that there is no amount of money that is going to improve education.


SouthWestKs 3 years, 1 month ago

Schools that get $10K per student get about $4K from the state.. So you have to cut $500 to get a 5% cut for schools.. Some schools get as much as $19K per student.. A $500 cut for them is 2.6% per student.. I think they should be able to handle the cut with out to much trouble..


volunteer 3 years, 1 month ago

Somebody give us some context. Where will this leave per pupil funding compared to what it was before the Sp Ct increased it? Didn't that judicial decree give schools a 10% increase for three or four years when the inflation rate was 2% per year?


Rush2009 3 years, 1 month ago

What Republican politicians have been doing is:

(1) Burn 1.2 rillion dollars in Iraq Afghanistan Wars (2) Give billions to bailout big banks (3) Give Tax cuts to wealthy friends like Koch brothers (4) Take jobs overseas so that big corporations can make more money (5) Let Health care cost skyrocket to help make big corporations more money (6) Divide the citizens in the name of Gay rights (7) Divide the citizens in the name of Gun owning rights (8) Divide the citizens in the name of Pro life (9) Bust the Unions so that the big corporations can treat citizens like slaves (10) Divide the citizens in the name of Religion (11) Create Hate against the Obama to divide the citizens (12) Obama haters 24 hours 365 days (13) Cutting education budgets (14) Destroying nature

Republican voters, you put him and people like him in the position to destroy this country and the middle class. Now enjoy, forget what they did, elect them again next time and enjoy again. You were born republicans you will remain republicans forever, you cannot use your heads.


Dan Eyler 3 years, 1 month ago

Handley, what loop holes do you think should go. Let us know the first 3-4 on you list? Curious?


handley 3 years, 1 month ago

How about getting the loop holes out of the taxes so that the top 5% pay their fair share of the taxes. Everything the G.O.P. does is for the rich.


lastcall4oh 3 years, 1 month ago

How many red marks on his wrists from self flagellation after these cuts?


barlowtl 3 years, 1 month ago

Somewhere in his childhood Brownback must have been kept after school 1 time too many and now finally has gained enough power to get his revenge. Voters really must look beyond the cover sheets on the resume's of those who ask for our vote. At best it is very difficult these days to return a defective product.


TheStonesSuck 3 years, 1 month ago

no kidding, is Brownback king now or something? Kansas has a cool and dignified history. Over the past two decades, our elected officials have turned Kansas into a laughing stock... regardless if you love KS like me, or are just here because this is where you're from, make no mistake about it. The worst part is that the blame can only be placed on Kansans themselves... we are largely sheep who mindlessly tow the Republican party line. The scary part, is how the repubs have us absolutely convinced that they have our interests in mind. Wake up, fool!


Jimo 3 years, 1 month ago

Who knew Kansas was a banana republic where Our Dear Leader rules by decree?


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