Archive for Friday, November 18, 2011

Attorney for school districts says Brownback education finance plan would make matters worse

November 18, 2011


Gov. Sam Brownback says he wants to overhaul the public school finance system to avoid lengthy litigation that has surrounded the major funding function of state government.

“I am tired, and I don’t think it is effective that the system and the money has been decided by the courts for the last 20 years instead of the Legislature,” Brownback has said.

“Here is a plan that we think can address our needs and not go through litigation. It doesn’t engage the public when you do these things through litigation. You engage the public when you engage the Legislature,” he said.

But school districts suing the state over school finance say Brownback’s plan will guarantee more litigation.

“I’m not seeing Governor Brownback’s plan as fixing anything,” said Newton attorney John Robb, who represents a coalition of plaintiff school districts. “As a matter of fact, I think it makes it worse. It will not stop the lawsuit.”

Although not officially released, Brownback’s school finance plan has been trotted out before groups of education officials in recent weeks by the governor’s policy director, Landon Fulmer.

Brownback’s plan is expected to give local governments more control in raising local taxes for schools.

Robb and other school finance advocates see this as worsening inequalities in school funding between rich and poor districts, a situation that Kansas courts have ruled against in the past.

“I don’t understand why we are replowing this field,” Robb said.

The school districts’ lawsuit contends the Legislature has failed to provide the funding it promised to settle a 2005 Kansas Supreme Court ruling that found the system for funding schools unconstitutional.

Legislators responded to the court ruling by approving new funding to raise the base state aid for all students and then targeting funds for students who were deemed at risk of failing. But legislators have taken back much of that funding over the past three years as state revenues declined during the recession.

The state’s base state aid to public schools is now $3,780 per student, the lowest level since the 1999-2000 school. In the 2008-09 school year, it was $4,400 per pupil. The cut in funding has resulted in fewer teachers and more crowded classrooms.

Robb said that contrary to Brownback’s contention, the formula used to divvy up school funding is fine. It is the failure to adequately fund the formula that is causing problems, he said.

“You can build the best car on the planet, but if you don’t put gas in it, it’s not going anywhere,” Robb said.

The case is set to go to trial in June 2012.


George_Braziller 5 years ago

No kidding. The Brownback administration manages to screw up anything it thinks it's going to "fix" and just ends up making the situation even worse.

“I’m not seeing Gov. Brownback’s plan as fixing anything,” said Newton attorney John Robb who represents a coalition of plaintiff school districts. “As a matter of fact, I think it makes it worse. It will not stop the lawsuit.”

kansanjayhawk 5 years ago

Stated by an Attorney getting funded by one unit of government to sue another unit of government--how efficient--these issues between units of government should be handled by binding arbitration and we should keep the attorneys out of it. The bottom line is this if the economy of Kansas is not functional then there will not be additional funds for any programs including education. The solution which Governor Brownback is trying to focus on is getting good jobs back and rebuild this economy!

thebigspoon 5 years ago

OK, then, party hack, how is Brownback's economic disaster train get us jobs? Be specific, please, without more blathering of Brownbach/Koch party bs.

KSManimal 5 years ago

Why is it that when Democrats do something to "create jobs" actually introducing legislation designed to create jobs.... the GOP folks respond with "government can't create jobs".

Then, when GOP's elected folks do something designed to cut jobs and funnel wealth into fewer hands, the GOP folks call it "creating jobs"?

Which is it - can't government create jobs or not?

jafs 5 years ago

That's easy - when Democrats want to do it, the government can't do it.

But when Republicans want to, they can.

Ta da!

kansanjayhawk 5 years ago

Because Democrat ideas for getting jobs don't focus on the private sector but rather they focus on growing an ever-larger government!

George_Braziller 5 years ago

When was the last time you took a basic government class? Try reading the the Constitution of the United States. Checks and balances among the different branches of government apply to the individual states as well.

Mark Sanders 5 years ago

He talks about lowering taxes. All he is doing is shifting it to local taxes. Who does this help? Not the 99% but the 1%.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

That's his plan. Then he won't be lying when he claims he lowered taxes.

kansanjayhawk 5 years ago

I think you need to re-read his plan the Governor is talking about creating incentive for business to locate in Kansas. He is talking about broadening the tax base so that everyone pays a fair share and the burden is NOT just on local taxes. If the water level rises all of the ships will float a little higher!

chootspa 5 years ago

If he wants to broaden the burden, he's going to have to shift it to income taxes, and he's going to have to make them progressive income taxes. I'd be behind that plan. I could even live with cutting state business taxes, as long as we shifted it to income for anyone living or working in the state. I don't think he'd support it in a million years. All indications are that he's going to cut taxes and get Laffer's magical napkin talking points to make income appear out of thin air.

Hadley_says 5 years ago

Someone should ask John Robb et al. how much they have profited/.gained from the previous litigation.

I'm not saying it is totally undeserved, but my point is, after profiting in magnificent sums in the amount of hundreds of thousands of dollars in the original litigation, he has little incentive to not sue once again, regardless of the issues involved.

thebigspoon 5 years ago

Here, I'll fix that: "...he has little incentive to not sue once again, given the issues involved and the impact of this stupid, selfish proposal on the educational quality of the students of Kansas."

Hope you have a nice day.

Jan Rolls 5 years ago

You are right let's keep short changing the kids. Do you and the others realize what you are saying. Obiously you don't have kids in school.

drs331 5 years ago

“I am tired and I don’t think it is effective that the system and the money has been decided by the courts for the last 20 years instead of the Legislature,” Brownback has said.

Maybe I'm wrong, but at no point that I know of has the court ever made any funding decision for schools. Only the legislature does that. The court tells the legislature when the funding decision it made is at a level that does not satisfy the requirements of the Kansas Constitution. And then the legislature tries again.

kansanjayhawk 5 years ago

But the courts including the Kansas Supreme Court have threatened to do just that. The legislature buckled to the threat on the court imposing taxes upon the people--a clear violation of the Kansas Constitution--but that was their threat!

jafs 5 years ago

You're simply incorrect about this.

The legislature, tasked with providing a "suitable" funding amount, did some studies and determined that amount, then failed to implement it.

The KS SC simply ruled that the legislature must live up to it's constitutional responsibilities, based on their own studies on the subject.

question4u 5 years ago

Brownback: “Here is a plan that we think can address our needs and not go through litigation."

Public: Won't your plan to shift education funding to local districts make the problem of unequal funding worse and create even stronger grounds for litigation – and for the state to lose that litigation as it did before?

Brownback: Look, trust me here, Didn't I say that the state wouldn't lose funding from the NEA and the Mid-America Arts Alliance when I abolished the Kansas Arts Commission? Wait...I mean...didn't I say that the lost funding would be made up in private funds? Wait...scratch that...we're talking about school finance and litigation here. You can trust my judgment, after all I'm promising to lower your taxes.

Public: OK, but won't shifting the tax burden to local districts make our property taxes go way up to compensate for lost funding from the state level?

Brownback: Not necessarily. That's the beauty of the plan. Your district may opt not to raise property taxes and instead let its schools decline.

Public: OK, but isn't that likely to create even greater disparity between school districts and a greater chance of litigation?

Brownback: Look, you might as well buy into my plan. Do you really think logic will stop me from implementing it?

Public: Well, no.

chootspa 5 years ago

That's pretty much it in a nutshell.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years ago

Here's the plan.

First, change the school finance formula to "allow" local districts to raise sales and property taxes.

Second, send local districts less money from the state.

Third, use the "savings" from local districts being forced to raise sales and property taxes just to keep the lights on in their schools to eliminate the income tax.

End result -- record high sales taxes, record high property taxes, no income tax.

Who benefits? I hope the buffoons who slobber over Brownback are excited to pay MORE in taxes, not less, for the moral superiority they will gain from having no income tax.

Jimo 5 years ago

These days there just seems to be a fundamental difference in how the political parties think about public issues.

Dems identify a problem and then craft specific policy proposals to address that problem. Sure, virtually every proposal assumes a starring role for gov't but the proposals do actually have substance that can be evaluated by decisionmakers and voters. At the end of the day, not only may someone come up with a conclusion that proposal Z will have effects 1, 2, and 3 on the economy but likely fail to achieve effect 4, but proponents actually seek out this type of critique.

Repubs identify an abstract goal, such as lowering taxes on the "job creators" and then translate that goal into a fixed proposal, such as eliminate state income taxes or cut spending by X dollars. There's no actual analysis of precisely what the actual effects of these proposals will be or whether the X dollars cut come from Program 1 or Program 2. Things just get chopped without any idea where the affected citizens should turn (billionaires will come forward to create jobs through investment - and if they don't? Ehhh....) This 'top down' approach is indifferent to substantive analysis because analysis is irrelevant to the purpose of the proposals, which is to push the abstract goal, which in turn in never--ever!--questioned but rather adhered to with an almost religious orthodoxy.

Only 2 generations back, this difference didn't exist like this. Dems had a strong wing that pushed abstract ideology, even at times in a messianic level ('we now know how to end poverty and will achieve its demise within a generation' - 1966). Repubs took some real pride in the intellectual foundations of policy and formed a movement to showcase the core of conservatism, its belief that change is oversold and that valuable, organically evolved virtues of the existing order were being destroyed. But a balance existed between ideology and practicality in both parties.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years ago

This is just part of the Brownback "Great Leap Backward." He doesn't care about public education because his kids went to private schools. He smiles for the cameras a lot, but doesn't care about anyone whose annual income is less than $1 million per year. Despite claiming to be a Christian, at every turn he tries to reduce state funding for critical social services. He is heartless and souless. If the Browback plan goes through, at least Lawrence is a wealthy enough community to be able to raise sales taxes and property taxes. Many small communities around the state can't levy sales taxes as they don't have retail establishments in town. How will they fare? I guess it doesn't matter as they will all live their lives and then die years and years from now having only ever voted for the Republican candidates...what's the matter with Kansas???

kansanjayhawk 5 years ago

You are completely off your rocker! You don't have a shred of evidence for any of your claims! "great leap backwards" that is not correct it is progress toward rebuilding our economy and getting good jobs back into Kansas! Sam Brownback has given his life to public service he is a principled conservative and just because you are more liberal or don't agree with his positions does not mean that you can attack his religious beliefs! That is OFF LIMITS if you truely were open-minded and liberal you would not make an attack based upon his religion. It would appear that you are being heartless and mean with your attacks. Maybe you need to do a little more reading and research and you might find that the Brownback plan is not as you suggest but would help Kansas to build a better tax base and attract more good paying jobs and positive economic development.

kochmoney 5 years ago

Jayhawkfan didn't attack Brownback for being a Christian. The poster attacked Brownback for being a false Christian. The guv's a dirtbag, and I've heard more than one person who knew him agree with that particular opinion. I suspect psychopathy.

At any rate, there's plenty of evidence that says his plan to cut services and lower taxes will be disastrous for any economy.

kansanjayhawk 5 years ago

Well I guess calling your opponent a "dirtbag" really adds to the debate! I would suggest that you and I are not in a position to call anyone a "false christian" based upon a disagreement with the governor on political policy issues!

Katara 5 years ago

kansanjayhawk, you keep telling us that Brownback is focusing on good paying jobs.

Can you point to anything he has done so far that has attracted any good paying jobs for anyone but former Floridians?

deec 5 years ago

If low taxes create jobs,where are the jobs? According to the New York Times "A comprehensive study released on Thursday found that 280 of the biggest publicly traded American companies faced federal income tax bills equal to 18.5 percent of their profits during the last three years — little more than half the official corporate rate of 35 percent and lower than their competitors in many industrialized countries. "

kansanjayhawk 5 years ago

that is not a state issue but an issue but Federal.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years ago

Now, now, KJH - watch those personal attacks.

jafs 5 years ago

Well, let's examine his "principles".

He promised to "protect" education and social service funding while campaigning, and then immediately cut both once elected.

When filling a variety of state positions, he has hired out of state folks rather than people from KS.

He has personally benefited from federal subsidies, yet rails against government spending.

He has claimed he's saving money, when in fact he's just spending it differently (even the R legislature noticed that one).

What sorts of principles are these exactly? It looks like lying, hypocrisy, and a lack of concern for KS residents to me.

Jayhawk1958 5 years ago

Time to wake up and smell the coffee. Why do corporations want to create jobs when they have gotten along just fine with what they have since the start of the recession? The philosophy that cutting taxes to create jobs isn't going to happen. It just adds to their bottom line.

Jayhawk1958 5 years ago

Also they have learned to be leaner and meaner with the workforce they have while at the same time create a profit. And they don''t have to pay workers what they deserve because they know its an employer market.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years ago

I am a Christian and believe I was born into sin. As a Protestant, I also believe in justification through faith alone. I understand governor Brownback converted to Catholicism.

Despite his conversion which I wont doubt his sincerity, I do believe that our Governor is a hypocrite. He publicly claims to have a moral compass through his faith. His actions reveal otherwise. If he was governed by a moral compass his public policies would not shift the burden of government expenditures toward the most disadvantaged in our society nor would his policies reward evil doers like the Koch brothers with tax cuts in the laughable claim of job creation. The Koch brothers serve only mammon which we all know from Sunday school is the root of all evil. Finally, his policies cut social services including public education at a time when those services are most needed.

Jayhawk1958 5 years ago

Religion is where these right-wing radical Theocrats hide behind. They are trying to distract from their ungodly policies and political pursuits by preaching they are divine.

kansanjayhawk 5 years ago

Giving money away does not necessarily show compassion or build wealth or upward mobility. I believe the Governor want to put policies in place that will allow Kansans at the bottom of the economic latter to get good paying jobs and advance. The real problem has been with the federal government under Obama placing roadblocks in the way of good paying manufacturing and energy sector jobs. Obama has consistently stood in the way with regulations to block even modest expansion of large manufacturing in the country.

KS 5 years ago

Coming from an attorney that is paid to sue, what else could you expect? Gotta keep those jobs in Kansas, including attorneys.

thebigspoon 5 years ago

Please see above 7:39. Thanks, and have a nice ride on the Republican Railroad.

KS 5 years ago

I would not call that "Republican" anything. I call that common sense. Are you therefore insinuating that the Democrats have none? Maybe you are a lawyer. Ops, sorry. Did not mean to step on your toes.

kujayhawk7476 5 years ago

So, the dictatorial governor believes that the legislature, who is currently in violation of the judge's previous ruling on school finance and funding levels, is the proper body to resolve the problem? Go figure.

The judge in that case should arrest every member of the legislature, plus the governor, for contempt of court, place them all in a local gymnasium under 24/7 guard and leave them there until they resolve how to properly fund schools per his judicial decree.

Remember, next November, send them all home, all 537 members in Washington and all in Kansas! Send the cheaters, scammers, and bums home!!

weeslicket 5 years ago

brownback: “I am tired, " public: "please re-tire"

brownback: "I don’t think it is effective that the system and the money has been decided by the courts for the last 20 years instead of the Legislature ... Here is a plan that we think can address our needs and not go through litigation." public: the legislature came up with the funding plan(s). the court ruled on the plan(s), including findings of fact regarding the constitutional definition of "suitable". the legislature agreed to follow its own constitutional mandate (albeit at a significantly reduced amount than the constitutional defition of suitable). and then the legislature promptly re-negged on their legislative and constitutional duties. lovely.

brownback: "It doesn’t engage the public when you do these things through litigation. You engage the public when you engage the Legislature." public: even for the governor, this is some seriously whacky talk.

weeslicket 5 years ago

brownback: “I am tired, " public: "please re-tire"

brownback: "I don’t think it is effective that the system and the money has been decided by the courts for the last 20 years instead of the Legislature ... Here is a plan that we think can address our needs and not go through litigation." public: the legislature came up with the funding plan(s). the court ruled on the plan(s), including findings of fact regarding the constitutional definition of "suitable". the legislature agreed to follow its own constitutional mandate (albeit at a significantly reduced amount than the constitutional defition of suitable). and then the legislature promptly re-negged on their legislative and constitutional duties. lovely.

brownback: "It doesn’t engage the public when you do these things through litigation. You engage the public when you engage the Legislature." public: even for the governor, this is some seriously whacky talk.

kugrad 5 years ago

This plan reveals Brownback's utter incompetence. He completely ignores the history of school finance in Kansas, particularly the just basis of the successful lawsuit of the early 90's. The argument behind this lawsuit was that school funding is supposed to provide equal educational opportunity across the state. The litigants successfully showed that allowing local districts to raise property taxes to provide additional funds for schools in their areas results in unequal educational opportunity for students. Those in affluent areas enjoy better and increased opportunities compared to those in less-affluent areas. The state should be ensuring equal opportunity and must address funding to make it so. This argument was upheld in court. It is also, in my opinion, quite obviously true. In the present, Brownback proposes, in a nutshell, the same exact inequitable process that was held to violate the Kansas Constitution! In my view, this is sheer incompetence. He will undoubtedly trot out the old canard of "activist judges" and "judges trying to do the legislature's job" by forcing the legislature to comply with the law (which requires the allocation of monies). This is just a smokescreen to hide the real issues. The legislature is failing to do their constitutional duty to provide for a quality education to Kansas students in good times and bad. They are trying to serve two masters- their political contributors and Kansans they are supposed to represent. They can't balance this because the two are at odds, so they are choosing their campaign contributors over what is good for Kansas students. Neglecting to properly fund schools, they seek a way out. Well Mr. Brownback, I'm sorry you're tired. I'm tired too. Tired of the Kansas legislature ignoring court orders to fix the school finance system. Tired of your incompetent performance as governor, if you can call running for Vice President governing. You are guaranteeing a lawsuit here. Your talk about hoping to avoid one rings hollow when you propose essentially the same system that was struck down in court as your "new" policy idea. I guess you think we are really that stupid.

lunacydetector 5 years ago

when is enough enough for our schools?

so tired of the school district stealing my hard earned dollars on their spare no expense projects of waste bs.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

So I assume you were educated in a private school? Someone gave their hard earned money to pay for public schools before. They did it because they were patriots who supported their community, not sniveling, whiney, "it's all about me" creeps.

lunacydetector 5 years ago

I went to a private school that worked with a lower cost per pupil than the school district, and the pupils ALWAYS scored higher than the public schools on assessment tests.

KSManimal 5 years ago

And I'm sure that private school had to teach every kid in its attendance area - including the mentally challenged, the criminals, the homeless, the gangsters, the dealers, and the addicts. And I'm sure that private school was required to provide bus transportation with those per-pupil dollars, too. And, of course, that private school could not simply toss out any kids who didn't perform up to snuff.


tomatogrower 5 years ago

+1, KSManimal Taking out the at risk kids, which private schools don't take, public schools perform just as well. The whole private schools do better is a myth. Of course they can do better, because their parents must value education. The problem is public schools get all the students. Or, luna, should we not educate the children of poor people, or people who do drugs, or people who hardly know they have children? A lot of these children made a success of their lives, because of the support they received in a public school which they didn't get at home. You would abandon these kids, then complain when they robbed your house.

kansanjayhawk 5 years ago

I think you are forgetting that private schools can include moral absolutes and incorporate God and the Bible in their learning! We have systematically removed morals from the schoold and the result is an inferior education! True education of the young begins with the education of character!

tomatogrower 5 years ago

I have a lot of friends who are atheists and have a lot of morals. I'm sorry that the only way you can behave properly is with the threat of hell, and the promise of heaven.

chootspa 5 years ago

I had this thing called "good parents" around to give me moral and religious instruction.

lunacydetector 5 years ago

the majority of kids in my school were poor, so there goes that argument. some were bussed as well....isn't the school district charging parents who use the bus now, or has that changed?

do public schools teach drug addicts?

chootspa 5 years ago

Was that compared by socioeconomic status? If so, you should sell your pedagogical methods, because large scale studies on the issue find public and private school systems to be equivalent in outcomes. Granted, small-order run parochial schools did do marginally better, but that was likely more a matter of selection bias than it was a true difference in learning.

PS - the "lower cost per pupil" bit is also likely a myth. Private schools have funding sources outside of tuition, and comparisons of per pupil costs usually ignore those sources as well as expenses public schools incur that private schools may skip, such as SpED expenses.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

Didn't one of Brownback's flunkies once say the only rich people send their kids to college? So apparently only rich districts want to educate their younger kids too. The man is openly against people without enough money to do him any favors, like make him rich and powerful. Good little back stabbing Christian. I would think Christians would reject these phonies.

kochmoney 5 years ago

I believe that was one of his AFP hires that he placed into a job he split into two well-paid jobs to replace the previous budget guy who did it all by himself. So yeah, AFP thinks only rich people should go to college.

David Reynolds 5 years ago

Has anyone ever heard the school districts, their attorneys, or the unions say they had too much money. What ever they get is never enough.

Hey, do more with less like the test of us.

KSManimal 5 years ago

A sentence intended to be a question should end with a question mark, not a period.

Do you mean "rest" of us and not "test" of us? If so, keep in mind that public school funding is currently at the same level it was in the late '90's. I'm assuming you know that...which, now that I think of it, is probably not a good assumption on my part....

David Reynolds 5 years ago

I thought all of those garden classes & gardens they planted was going to help the schools. I still believe there is waste to be culled from our educational system.

KSManimal 5 years ago

First of all, when you refer to more than one thing you should use "were" rather than "was".

That being said, I infer from your condescending tone that you don't think agricultural education is important. If my inference is right, I challenge you to function day to day without the benefit of agriculture. I hope you like the taste of grass clippings and earthworms from your own yard.

I am curious as to where you think the waste in our educational system is. Do us a favor and look over the Lawrence district budget; then post here exactly where you would make cuts and what the % savings would be. Take your time.

David Reynolds 5 years ago

Have you ever checked the curriculum at one of our high schools and thought critically regarding how far we have drifted from the basics of reading, writing, basic science and arithmetic? Just maybe we do not need the variety.

One of the original justifications of the gardens was to provide food to sell & add to the cafeteria at the schools. I would like to know how many meals a day we have furnished from our gardens, and how many dollars we have contributed to the school district.

KSManimal 5 years ago

"Have you ever checked the curriculum at one of our high schools and thought critically regarding how far we have drifted from the basics of reading, writing, basic science and arithmetic?"

Hmm....I am quite familiar with our high school curricula going beyond the "Three R's".... isn't that sort of the definition of "High School"? You know, those extras like algebra, geometry, biology, chemistry, physics, literature, auto tech, business, and such....

It would seem the majority of society believes it is to our advantage to provide public education beyond 8th grade. That being said, nice job ignoring my questions and challenges to you.

How's that analysis of the district budget going for you? It shouldn't be too hard, considering they've published a summary version:

David Reynolds 5 years ago

Now that you have all the info, how about deciding how to reduce their expenses and elevate the quality of education.

We old timers remember when education cost less and excellence was achieved. That system created great minds & built a country & lifestyle unequaled in the world.

Money has always been a challenge. But it seems today we have built our overhead & class schedules beyond sustainability.

KSManimal 5 years ago

"Now that you have all the info, how about deciding how to reduce their expenses and elevate the quality of education."

No. You see, YOU started ranting about how much wasted money went into public education; so I challenged YOU to look at the budget and tell us where the waste was. Once again, you have declined to do so. Why?

"We old timers remember when education cost less and excellence was achieved."

If by excellence you mean back in the '40's and '50's when less than a third of US adults held a high school diploma, and when we systematically refused public education to students with disabilities; then yeah, those days were excellent.....

"That system created great minds & built a country & lifestyle unequaled in the world."

Actually, what built a country and lifestyle unequaled in the world was taxing corporate profits, supporting labor unions, and buying American made products. But if you wish to believe that denying education to over half the population made it great I guess that's up to you.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

And we didn't have to know how to use a computer, and we had well paid factory jobs, if we didn't want to go to college. And we had parents that thought our homework was more important than how much game time we got from the coach. And when we were young, those with developmental disabilities often didn't go to school, then went to live in an institution for the rest of their lifes. Get over it. The world has changed. I'm almost 60, and I can accept we don't live in same world. Before I bought a home, my rent went from $50/month for a whole house to $300 for a cheap apartment. Have you checked what they cost now!!! And bread doesn't cost 10 cents anymore either. Join the 21st century, or be miserable for the rest of your life.

coloradoan 5 years ago

ksmanimal and tomatogrower: +4

Sure it cost less in the past, citizen. When I was in high school gas was also 24.9 cents per gallon and a case of Coors or Bud was 5.00. Good partying in high school, you betcha. Adjust for inflation and the technological advancements which require higher levels of education experiences, and maybe you'll see that you may just be comparing apples and oranges, if not Apples and slide rules?

And the students weren't distracted by game units, cell phones, and girls showing more skin than we used to see at the swimming pool. I couldn't have paid attention to classes either!

KSManimal 5 years ago

Brownback's real motive for changing the school finance formula has but ONE purpose: to render the current litigation moot.

See, brownie knows full well that his proposal would never hold up in court; but he doesn't care. The point is to change the formula in a way to free up more state money for tax cuts for Koch & Co.

By changing the formula, he guarantees that when (not if, but when) the court rules in favor of the plaintiff in the current case; the court will also say "however, since the formula and funding levels you sued over no longer exist; your case is mute. You'll have to file another suit over the new formula and funding levels."

Of course, to file suit the plaintiffs must give the legislature six months advance notice (as per their recent suit-suppression law). This gives the legislature time to dream up ways to change the formula AGAIN, and again, and again,....each time rendering the pending lawsuit moot - so they never have to sack up and actually uphold the state constitution.

wood451 5 years ago

I'll bet this conversation would take a very different tone if we couldn't hide behind anonymous screen names.

David Reynolds 5 years ago

Ksmanimal, is the intention of Gov. Brownback for good or for bad?

jafs 5 years ago

We can't know that without looking into his heart.

What we can know is that his policies are going to affect large groups of KS residents negatively.

Also, it has been said that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions".

David Reynolds 5 years ago

So you assume a negative intent without really knowing his intent.

kansanjayhawk 5 years ago

Here we go again-- now the governor serves the "devil" --rubbish ! The reality is that the Governor is trying to get our state back on track after 8 long years in the liberal Democrat wilderness! Brownback is trying to reform our tax structure to bring back good high paying jobs and reduce the tax burden on ordinary Kansans! The governor is also trying to reduce the influence of the public sector unions that are becoming blood-suckers on the public treasury! We need more common-sense conservative leaders like Brownback and we need them to stick to their guns even if they are called names and accused of serving the devil!

jafs 5 years ago

In what universe has KS ever been in the hands of "liberal Democrats"?

If you really believe the things you write, I am shocked.

kugrad 5 years ago

Seriously kansanjayhawk? You really think Gandalf is actually saying Brownback serves the devil? This isn't about fairy tales. It isn't about unions. In fact, no union gets a single dollar from the great State of Kansas. The teacher's union, which is probably the target of your misguided statement, gets no money from the state. The only money they get is from their members,. That is not State money, it is earned dollars that belong to private individuals who can do what they want with their earnings. The union dues are not determined in any way by flucuations in school funding. There is no union 'blood-sucking on the public treasury,' that is rubbish. It is false. It isn't true. It doesn't happen. It hasn't happened. It isn't happening. Your governor has no common sense to inject into education issues as he has just reintroduced a budgetary system already ruled unconstitutional by the Kansas courts not 2 decades ago. This state has never been run by Democrats in modern history. You need to get a grasp on the realities here in Kansas.

kansanjayhawk 5 years ago

Hmmm---I guess you do not recall the following Democrat governors in the last few years: Carlin--Finney-Parkinson-Sebelius--???? What are you talking about "get a grasp"? That on top of moderate Republican Graves and oh--please don't forget the name Docking... Unions serve a purpose of holding the employer (in this case the State) accountable but public sector unions have should be much more limited. This is the position of the FDR and I agree with him on this issue...

George Lippencott 5 years ago

Well, whatever else it might do it will make a lot of work for lawyers and a lot of costs for taxpayers.

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