Letters to the Editor

Education attack

March 17, 2011

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To the editor:

Could it be that the governor does not like the way Kansans have voted out state school board members who tried to push “intelligent design” into science classrooms? Now, he is going to punish us and take the voting power away from Kansans. He wants all that voting power concentrated in his office.

Brownback wants to anoint a secretary of education to replace the state school board and the Kansas Board of Regents. He and his crony will then make all decisions about the curriculum to be taught in Kansas schools. Brownback will have final authority over which textbooks are to be used. That is a lot of power for one politician to want and to wield.

When he was campaigning, did he inform anyone that his “road map” included destruction of the Kansas education system, special education services, bioscience authority and usurpation of the curriculum for all students? Can his actions be interpreted as an attack on the Kansas Constitution?

Comments

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

Koch Family Foundations

Sons Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch run the company as well as Koch Family Foundations, one of the largest single sources of funding for conservative organizations in the United States.

Organizations and think tanks supported by the foundation include Citizens for a Sound Economy, the libertarian Cato Institute, Reason Magazine, the Manhattan Institute, the Heartland Institute, and the Democratic Leadership Council. David H. Koch ran for president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1980.

Author Thomas Frank wrote in "What's the Matter with Kansas?" that "Koch money flowed through Triad Management Services", an advisory service to conservative donors groups and candidates, for the 1996 Senate campaign of Sam Brownback.

Koch Industries, (pronounced "coke"), is the largest privately owned company in the United States with 70,000 employees and annual sales of $100 billion in the fiscal year ending December of 2008. Operations include refining, chemicals, process and pollution control equipment, technologies, fibers and polymers, commodity and financial trading and consumer products.

The company operates crude gathering systems and pipelines across North America. One subsidiary processes 800,000 barrels of crude oil daily in its three refineries.

Koch also owns ranches with a total of 15,000 head of cattle in Kansas, Montana and Texas. Though diversified, the company amassed most of its fortune in oil trading and refining.

The company was started in 1927 by Fred Koch, a charter member of the John Birch Society, with an oil delivery business in Texas.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 1 month ago

Are you adding this to your standard set of copy/paste posts so that we'll be seeing it every couple of days for the rest of eternity?

tomatogrower 5 years, 1 month ago

What's wrong, snap, can't think of any defense of these people who want to be your king? I'm sure you will bow before them as if they were gods.

Kookamooka 5 years, 1 month ago

Good LTE. I wonder how many people who voted for Brownback realized what they were getting into? This man is a supremely gifted liar.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

And, most importantly, if you are upset with how he's governing, will you vote differently next time?

tomatogrower 5 years, 1 month ago

Well I didn't vote him in, and most people I know didn't vote for him. Hey, maybe there is massive voter fraud!

Paul R Getto 5 years, 1 month ago

If you voted for 'smaller government' this is what it looks like. Education Pre-K-college is 66% or so of the budget. Toss in the crippled, the sick the lame and the old (assuming they will continue to get some services) and you are past 90 of the general fund. There's not a lot of wiggle room, as they say. We shouldn't demonize the Kochs. They are simply looking for their best interests. The question is, are these the interests of Kansans? We shall soon see as the session winds down.

Brian Laird 5 years, 1 month ago

Obviously, education didn't help you figure out how to calculate percentage.

Brian Laird 5 years, 1 month ago

Putting the decimal in the right place is part of the "math", so you didn't get the math correct.

If you want something more substantive....

Note that also the cut is for the current fiscal year which ends at the end of June. Given that we only have 2 of the 9 months of school left and most of the funds this year have been spent, this would actually represent about a 2.5% cut (assuming that funds are spread evenly over the semester).

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

And, of course, this won't effectively deal with the proposed huge budget deficit for next year, so I'm sure we'll see more cuts.

KayCee 5 years, 1 month ago

He did the math correctly and his statement of "one half of ONE percent" was correect. The 'mistake' was putting % after his calculation.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

Sure, it's only $22, but it was the $22 used to teach the theory of evolution. The koch brothers hate evolution and made brownback cut that money so people would buy more paper towels. Koch did it. We all know it was koch's fault. Just read the copypasta tripe merril spams in every thread and you'll see.

You need to get with the program and quit getting all your information from credible news sources. Instead, please base all further opinions on information gleened from left-wing mouthpieces like dollars $ sense, huffpo, DU, rachel maddow and whatever stuart smalley just said in his latest interview.

Did I mention the koch brothers want to end the teaching of evolution so you'll buy more paper towels? It's whats wrong with kansas!

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

More like 0.54835493519441674975074775672981%. Did the koch brothers make you forget that ~48 thousandths because god doesn't recognize anything under tenths and you need more paper towels?

cayenne1992 5 years, 1 month ago

Nicely done. You're only off by a few magnitudes.

You missed the point of the letter.

You're a perfect example of Brownback's example education--little reading comprehension and no basic math skills.

BigAl 5 years, 1 month ago

I agree. I don't necessarily disagree with Clancy but he did miss the point of the letter. This is about teaching subject matter. Not dollars.

But, I also notice that he took a shot at "Libs". If it is the "Libs" that want a full unbiased teaching curriculum then please, count me in.

Personally, I think most people want scientific evolution taught in public school. "Intelligent Design" belongs primarily in church or family teachings. They don't always necessarily exclude one another.

itwasthedukes 5 years, 1 month ago

That letter had no facts but if you crazies want to believe he hates children and education, go right a head it is that same irrationality that gave us BO. Once again LJworld giving voice to the leftists with no facts. That is exactly what propaganda looks like. Look at the choice of words very carefully. Time for the communists to get angry.

BigAl 5 years, 1 month ago

I like how a lot of you take this way too far. Brownback doesn't hate children or education. Judging by your letter, I would say that "once again, LJworld giving voice to the right-wingers with no facts."

See how I did that?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

How do you feel about the fact that he promised while campaigning to protect funding for education and social services, and then immediately proposed cutting that funding once elected?

Flap Doodle 5 years, 1 month ago

Planet-killer merrill is forgetting the attribution thing again. Plagiarism, much like using internal combusion lawn care machines, is dumb and irresponsible!!!!

Olympics 5 years, 1 month ago

Koch Industries Employs PR Firm To Airbrush Wikipedia, Gets Banned For Unethical ‘Sock Puppets’

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/09/koch-wikipedia-sock-puppet/

notajayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

"Kansas voters deserve who they voted for."

Yes we do, thank you. We did not get the candidate the insignificant whiny anti-Christian bigoted fringe in Looneyville wanted. So sorry for you.

BigAl 5 years, 1 month ago

And who was that? Who was (or is) the "Christian bigoted fringe that Looneyville wanted?"

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

If I were a Christian, I'd be offended by your remark. On second thought, I'm offended anyway. Your last sentence is nothing short of hate speech. It has no place in a civilized society.

CreatureComforts 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm getting really tired of the word "Koch" being vomited 8,941,628 times per day on this website.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 1 month ago

The Koch brothers have replaced both Karl Rove and Dick Cheny as the focus of the progressive's Daily Hate.

QuinnSutore 5 years, 1 month ago

Scientific discussion occurs when people discuss and weigh equally viable explanations for phenomena. I'm no bible thumper but seriously, if your ideas hold water they will hold up in a legitimate classroom setting.

Are people afraid high school students will be so disillusioned with evolution after hearing the evidence that they dismiss it entirely? Probably, which is why the indoctrination has to take place at such a young age, so they can refute any evidence to the contrary with their conveniently pre-taught explanations from evolutionists.

Olympics 5 years, 1 month ago

cognitive dissonance alert!

Up is down, cats and dogs sleeping together. It's amazing to me that you could write that with a clear conscious. Completely 180 degree arrrrrrse backwards.

I remember when at age 4 I was first forced to hear weekly evolution lectures...oh wait, that was church.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 1 month ago

Forced by your parents, I would guess. They are the only one who has a right to decide what a 4 year old is taught, so what is your argument?

Olympics 5 years, 1 month ago

Sorry to get personal peace, but are you daft?

Reread Quinn's attack on scientists/science educators as the source of indoctrination. Want to compare the history of religious indoctrination? See the argument now?

Olympics 5 years, 1 month ago

Clearly, you'd rather not add anything relevant to Quinn's attack on science education/evolution and ignoring the history of religious indoctrination.

Congratulations, you found 10 kids for a TV program to prove an unrelated point. Slow clap, my friend, sloooooow clap.

Brian Laird 5 years, 1 month ago

So when the physics behind why helium balloons ascend is discussed in class, we should also teach an alternate theory that they are pushed up by angels - that has as much scientific cred as creationism. Intelligent Design and Creationism are not "equally viable explanations" - they are non-scientific non-explantions - hey, look its magic! Discussing them would be a waste of time that could be spent talking about actual science, not how many angels can ride on a unicorn.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

Public schools are not doing as bad as portrayed!

Public Schools are not failing.

No Child Left Behind was designed to make it appear that public schools are failing. No Child Left Behind is a political tool NOT a learning tool. A political tool to direct tax dollars into the bank accounts of corporate public schools.

Reckless spending neoconservatives believe tax dollars should go to corporate private schools although no one is evaluating corporate private schools using the same measuring technique. In fact no one is measuring corporate private schools.

It is my position that parents who enroll their children in corporate private schools are substantially involved in the children's education as they if their children were attending public schools.

Therefore the deduction claiming public schools are failing is useless. There is no hard evidence based on a fair and equal environment.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

Public schools are not doing as bad as portrayed!

Public Schools are not failing.

No Child Left Behind was designed to make it appear that public schools are failing. NChild Left Behind is a political tool NOT a learning tool. A political tool to direct tax dollars into the bank accounts of corporate private schools.o

Reckless spending neoconservatives believe tax dollars should go to corporate private schools although no one is evaluating corporate private schools using the same measuring technique. In fact no one is measuring corporate private schools.

It is my position that parents who enroll their children in corporate private schools are substantially involved in the children's education as they if their children were attending public schools.

Therefore the deduction claiming public schools are failing is useless. There is no hard evidence based on a fair and equal environment.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 1 month ago

Jumping (insert deity name here), merrill! How many times today did you post this same drivel? That's being dumb and irresponsible!!!!!

Dave Trabert 5 years, 1 month ago

LJWorld and other media typically choose not to report school funding stories in full context and this is a prime example. Reductions are blasted in the headlines but are rarely, if ever, put in context. After the $50 million proposed reduction in state aid this year, the state will still be spending about $40 million more this year on K-12 than last year. The Governor's Proposed Budget showed total state spending last year was $2.87 billion and the FY 2011 revised budget would be $2.91 billion. And the proposed budget for FY 2012 is $3.09 billion. The state spent $2.36 billion in FY 2005.

And that is just the state portion. Total spending on K-12 went from $4.3 billion in FY 2005 to $5.6 billion in FY 2010. Even after all the stimulus money is gone next year, total spending will still be about $5.5 billion. This is hardly an 'attack' on education.

Of course, these numbers only reflect what schools spent, not how much aid they received. Between FY 2005 and FY 2010, another $300 million in aid was put in the bank to increase carryover cash reserves. Even last year, districts put $76 million aside in cash reserves and some districts said they did so in anticipation of future reductions. They should use some of their cash buildup now.

Complete details on spending, aid and carryover by district is available at www.KansasOpenGov.org. All data comes directly from KSDE and individual districts.

notanota 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes, printing in context would include that you're a paid spokesperson for a Koch-sponsored think tank, as is the link you just posted, and it would also include that the real cost of the proposed cuts may include permanent cuts in special education matching funds without removing the state's obligation to pay for those services. Did you include that part? Oh, I see you did not. Huh, that might put things in context.

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