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Archive for Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Brownback administration outlines school finance concepts

October 12, 2011

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— Education officials on Wednesday expressed concerns that Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan to overhaul the school finance system may put more of the financing burden on local districts.

During a meeting held by the Kansas Association of School Boards and United School Administrators of Kansas, Brownback’s policy director, Landon Fulmer, said the administration was looking at a plan to provide a base payment from the state to local school districts, a system of block grants for at-risk students and other needs of individual districts, and allowing local districts to increase taxes. There also may be some changes to the distribution of statewide property tax collected for schools, he said.

Mark Tallman, with the KASB, said, “One of our concerns is the impact this would have on equalization, and there is a concern of shifting funding responsibility back to the local level.”

But Tallman added that some of the concepts that Fulmer addressed were interesting and he noted that Fulmer said the proposals were not set in stone. Brownback is expected to make a recommendation for legislators to consider when the 2012 session starts in January.

Tallman added, “We need to have a clear understanding of what we are trying to correct. Why is this better?”

Schools have been hit with several rounds of state budget cuts since the recession. Earlier this year, Brownback signed a budget that cuts base state aid to schools by $232 per student.

Brownback has said he wants to reform the school finance formula because it has been tied up in litigation in recent years. But those legal challenges have sought to force the Legislature to increase funds for schools and distribute those funds more equitably.

Comments

observant 2 years, 6 months ago

In reply: "Fossick (anonymous) replies…

Then how did he get elected? Is he so powerful that he secretly and proactively destroyed education so that he could get 63% of the vote in 2010?"

That election itself proves the ignorance of Kansas voters. For years Republicans have fought to destroy the education system in Kansas, electing Brownie simply validates the results.

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 6 months ago

Thanks, C1. Most of my friends will already be there, so that should be OK. Have fun in your heaven. I'd get tired of singing praises all day and night unless Pop Staples led the choir. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFBHOt...

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 6 months ago

Sorry: Should read----------Domionist. "Dominionism is a term used to describe the tendency among some politically active conservative Christians to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action, especially in the United States, with the goal of either a nation governed by Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominionism

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 6 months ago

"Please quite calling the Brownback administration conservative." === Good point. Dominist is more appropriate. Besides, it sounds better than the American Taliban, which could also be accurate.

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verity 2 years, 6 months ago

Please quite calling the Brownback administration conservative. This liberal/conservative polarization and name-calling gets us nowhere. Most people may consider themselves generally one or the other, but have opinions which fit in the other designation.

Neo-conservative maybe. Short-sighted and ignorant certainly. An agenda to further destroy the working classes in order to further enrich the already wealthy which will end in further smashing the economy, but not conservative.

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 6 months ago

SD20: Reminds me of the old bumper sticker: "It will be a wonderful day when the schools have the money they need and the AirForce has a bake sale to buy a new bomber." I'm not a pacifist and support the military when it is properly used. A better, newer bumper stick would be:
"It will be a wonderful day when the schools have the money they need and Wall Street has a bake sale to pay for employee bonuses."

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somedude20 2 years, 6 months ago

Maybe the state should sell cookies like the Girl Scouts to raise money or maybe have a giant yard sale. I would buy a few of the statues they have laying around the Capital including Brownback, if I could get it for cheap!

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consumer1 2 years, 6 months ago

Herre is an excellent story the LJW didn't seem to pick up..The Topeka Cap did.

Buffett brings tax fight to supercommittee Posted: October 13, 2011 - 9:18amPhotos

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway in Omaha, Neb., is bringing his fight to raise taxes on the super-wealthy to Congress' deficit-reduction supercommittee. In an exchange of letters between the billionaire investor and Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., that Buffett sent the committee this week, Buffett is offering to release his federal tax returns, with a condition. "If you could get other ultra rich Americans to publish their returns along with mine, that would be very useful to the tax dialogue and intelligent reform," Buffett wrote. Advertisement Buffett brings tax fight to supercommittee WASHINGTON — Warren Buffett is bringing his fight to raise taxes on the super-wealthy to Congress’ deficit-reduction supercommittee.

In an exchange of letters between the billionaire investor and a Republican congressman that Buffett sent the committee this week, Buffett is offering to release his federal tax returns — with a condition.

“If you could get other ultra rich Americans to publish their returns along with mine, that would be very useful to the tax dialogue and intelligent reform,” Buffett wrote.

The letters, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, were among several sent in recent days to the special bipartisan panel created this summer to find ways to reduce the mushrooming national debt by at least $1.2 trillion over the coming decade.

The same law that produced the supercommittee gave Congress’ regular committees until Friday to submit their own suggestions for erasing red ink. Some of those that have trickled in so far indicate that rather than offering dramatic new ideas for savings, many lawmakers are championing longtime favorite proposals and urging the panel to avoid cutting certain programs.

In his letter to the panel, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who heads the Senate Health and Education Committee, asked the panel to take “bold and immediate action to create jobs” while embracing deficit reduction that would take effect after the unemployment rate drops. The leaders of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Chairman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., combined on a letter asking the supercommittee to “not neglect America’s transportation needs.”

In Buffett’s letter sent Tuesday to Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., Buffett did reveal new information about his own earnings last year. He wrote that his adjusted gross income, which can exclude some income and expenses, was $62,855,038. His taxable income was $39,814,784.

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thebigspoon 2 years, 6 months ago

Your ability to boil down the entire Brownback travesty to his "destroying education" is fabulous. There are no other reasons that this is happening to Kansas; there are no underlying reasons voters felt dispossessed than this; certainly not the many years of Bush and Co.'s running of the country specifically to benefit the large financial and business concerns so that they could benefit from lack of regulation, foreign investment, and dodging taxes by moving dollars off the continent, among other non-issues. Thank you for making this clear to us, who voted this idiot into office on a wave of, we thought, lack of trust in the government.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 6 months ago

Until the teachers and administration are put on a performanced based pay schedule we will continue to throw money at the problem and get the same thing.

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IgotYourBack 2 years, 6 months ago

Property taxes are being avoided in the millions of dollars in Kansas through the issue of local industrial revenue bonds. Initially conceived as business incentives they rightly go out to businesses that otherwise would not be able to get a start up. However, many cases have become a tax shelter for highly profitable corporations who send our local money out of state to absentee corporate owners. The rationale for property tax exclusions requires putting an offsetting burden onto citizens because you have to make up the property taxes they do not pay. That is where the lie that we are out of money is revealed. Many of these property tax exclusions are given to banking investment groups for property management. These groups are at the core of receiving bail outs. Oversight, compliance and extension of property tax exclusions on these agreements is supposed to be carried out by county appraisers. Folks you are going to need to stand up and speak out to protect your property rights, your schools, your streets and your children's future.

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vuduchyld 2 years, 6 months ago

SRS, DOL, kids in public schools Arts Commission, women's health, there's no money there for you But to hire an old crony or fix voter fraud (???) we'll pay We'll even strengthen marriage just as long as you're not gay!

Welcome to Brownbackistan! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLUfNPdirdE

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rtwngr 2 years, 6 months ago

This is the pervasive attitude in this community. Spend, spend, spend. Throw money at this and throw money at that. The past governors of this state spent us to the brink of insolvency. No it isn't popular to cut anywhere but surely the communities of this state can find a way to educate our children and cut expenses too.

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rtwngr 2 years, 6 months ago

I have an idea. Why don't we use the money that the city/county would spend on preserving a nothing building, that means nothing to anybody, and funnel that into the schools. Or why don't we use the money that is going to be earmarked to prop up SRS in Lawrence toward our schools. I am sure this feel good community could find some way to trim its fat and finance our schools.

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conservative 2 years, 6 months ago

Yes all children are deserving of an education. But there is no requirement that if you choose to live in the middle of nowhere that the school has to be in your backyard. We have way too many districts in KS for the number of students and the small rural districts in the West have dug in their heels refusing to consolidate. With the ability of districts to raise taxes if it is truly important to the constituients in those districts they'll have the ability to keep their small districts open.

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getreal 2 years, 6 months ago

Really, push school finance to the local level? Let's see we already have a county/city in Kansas that is so strapped they are debating who has enough to prosecute domestic violence cases.

This is an opportunity for Brownback to cut income taxes for his political donors while raising sales tax in local communities to 12% on grandma's grocery bill. This is an opportunity for Brownback to abate property taxes for his wealthy political donors while raising property taxes in some communities to price grandma right out of her home.

How exactly will these block grants be administered? What is to stop the manipulation by this administration to only give grants to those they owe a political favor?

The ONLY thing wrong with the current formula is that this Governor and his band of merry conservatives refuse to fund it!

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kujayhawk7476 2 years, 6 months ago

When do you suppose the court will be hauling the gov, lt. gov and the entire legislature into court and hold them in contempt for not financing schools per the legal agreement the judge set forth a few years ago? Is there a local gym capable of acting as a jail while these worthless parties work things out and finance schools properly?

Hey, here's an idea, why don't local school districts collect fees, etc., from the children of illegal immigrants to help foot the bills? What a novel approach! I can't believe someone hasn't already thought of that.

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observant 2 years, 6 months ago

Brownie firmly believes no child in Kansas should be educated. After all, no educated person would vote for any Republican teabagging, christian like him.

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Dan Eyler 2 years, 6 months ago

The closer we can get to local control the better. Communities should make decision about education and less control from Topeka the better. I use to not agree with this but I do now more than every before.

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Number_1_Grandma 2 years, 6 months ago

So much for the Kansas constitution of financing K-12....

Brownbackistan is all about balancing the "state" budget while bankrupting local municipalities. Trading one headache for another people. Lets just hope that Brownback doesn't destroy all Kansas towns before the next election!

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verity 2 years, 6 months ago

It looks to me like lowering income taxes and raising property and local taxes are going to hit retirees on fixed incomes the hardest. If you've invested in Roth IRAs for your retirement, you don't have to pay income taxes on what you take out, but raised property and local taxes aren't avoidable.

It's too late for me to move, I've got too much invested in Kansas, but if I were younger, I'd certainly be looking to move elsewhere. Of course, when my house is confiscated for taxes, I'll be free to move.

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Eride 2 years, 6 months ago

Again, remember how Lawrence was blackmailed into paying for our SRS office even though SRS is a state responsibility? His administration is going to do the same thing with our schools. What is next?

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verity 2 years, 6 months ago

". . . allowing local districts to increase taxes. There also may be some changes to the distribution of statewide property tax collected for schools, he said."

So we're just playing a game of lowering state income taxes and raising local and property taxes to make up for it. Wonder who that benefits.

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