Archive for Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Statehouse Live: Kan-ed services slashed as its future under consideration

September 13, 2011, 11:57 a.m. Updated September 13, 2011, 5:01 p.m.

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— A state broadband network has slashed its services to schools, hospitals and libraries as legislators discussed Tuesday whether it should even exist.

Kan-ed discontinued LiveTutor, a heavily used service providing online tutor support for students, on July 1. Other services for research, educational databases and a service that helps hospitals respond to emergency situations have been cut by 50 percent.

“These value-added services have played a vital role in the lives of many Kansans,” Kan-ed director Jerry Huff told a committee of legislators.

But several members of the Kan-ed Study Committee said Kan-ed has gone beyond its original intent. When devised in 2001, they said, Kan-ed was supposed to provide Internet connection, not content, and it was supposed to be self-sufficient after several years.

“I don’t think the original intent was that it was supposed to be a continual funding stream from the Legislature,” said Rep. Peggy Mast, R-Emporia.

Kan-ed was set up by the Legislature to provide for a broadband-technology-based network so that schools, libraries and hospitals could connect for broadband Internet access and intranet access for distance learning. It is funded through a monthly charge on telephone service that was 25 cents per line, but is now 17 cents per line.

The program came under strong criticism during the 2011 legislative session. Telephone and cable companies complained that Kan-ed was competing with the private sector.

Kan-ed was cut from $10 million to $6 million this year. The study committee is basically looking at what form, if any, Kan-ed will take in the future.

Andy Tompkins, president and chief executive of the Kansas Board of Regents, which oversees Kan-ed, said the program has responded to many of the concerns of legislators, but he urged them to provide further direction.

“Do you want it to exist? Do you want it to have content? Do you think we ought to subsidize? Expecting us to know what is in your mind is going to be hard to do,” Tompkins said.

Educators, hospital representatives and librarians have said Kan-ed and its content are invaluable, providing telemedicine, help to students and general assistance to more and more Kansans who, because of the economic slump, rely on accessing the Internet at no charge.

Huff said that because there is a demand for Kan-ed services, whatever the Legislature decides will have to be paid for in some manner.

“If you say to libraries, ‘you have to pay for it yourselves,’ then you just pushed it back on the library. What pocket do you want to take it out of? It’s all taxpayer money,” he said.

Comments

pace 3 years, 6 months ago

Brownback thinks thiis money should right be turned over to Koch Brothers, That way it isn't taxed.

handley 3 years, 6 months ago

That's right cut education to Kansas so the people get dumber. Cut internet services to libraries so the SRS people don't have access. Good job Brownback!!.

somedude20 3 years, 6 months ago

bet you old scumback will be still having his minions filling their coffer of the holy pot with shiny shekels taken from us so do not expect that twent-five cent charge to ever go away. Some days I wish there really was a god because any god (who was not down with evil)would be super po'd with the things old skidmarkback has been doing

question4u 3 years, 6 months ago

The mistake was putting "ed" in the name. In Kansas, that puts a bullseye on it for defunding or elimination.

Jan Rolls 3 years, 6 months ago

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tomatogrower 3 years, 6 months ago

Disgusting, just disgusting. Since he is so against education for anyone else, we should take his degrees away from him. He went to government funded schools and universities. Someone helped pay for his education, but he and his supporters don't want to pay for the next generation. If you are against public education you should be forced to return all degrees earned at a public funded school. Then maybe you can not pay taxes to support it. Me, me, me that's what it's all about to them. Disgusting!

tomatogrower 3 years, 6 months ago

Of course, these quotes from him in an 2007 interview could be used as an argument against public education. "out of each other's side"? Got, got, got? "move on forward"? "got the duty"? Ok, doesn't sounded as folksy and dumb as Palin, but, good grief, he wants to represent Kansas education?

http://abcnews.go.com/WN/WhoIs/story?id=3741335&page=2

"They look like twins. And they act like an old couple, a married couple, because they're always around each other and barking at each other, but they won't be out of each other's side," Brownback said

"It started out with chickens, taking care of those, and later I really got the duty with the pigs and raising those," Brownback said. "You got to do everything. You feed them, you take care of them, you make sure they stay in the pen to start with, because they're a very smart animal, and they get out all the time."

"I went to law school with a plan of going back home and practicing law to support my farming, and Dad said, 'There's just not room here for us.' So I took off to practice law and got involved in some politics, and the rest just moved on forward," Brownback said.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 6 months ago

Yet another example of the Great Leap Backward in Kansas...

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