Archive for Friday, February 24, 2012

Brownback’s school finance plan may be subject of interim study

February 24, 2012


— Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed overhaul of the school finance system may have to be held over for another year — or two or three, a key legislator said Friday.

Senate Vice President John Vratil, R-Leawood, said there was “weak support” for Brownback’s plan on the Senate Education Committee.

“So the logical choice is to refer it to an interim committee for further study,” Vratil said.

Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, said one of the major concerns is that Brownback’s plan will lead to significant increases in local property taxes.

Brownback has proposed eliminating state limits on local property taxes for education. He says that would give local residents more say in how much is spent on schools, but critics contend it will create greater disparities between rich and poor districts.

Vratil said he supports Brownback’s plan, but that many other senators have problems with it. He said it could take up to three years for the Legislature to resolve issues in the governor’s plan.

When asked what he thought about one of his major proposals being held over for further study after the current legislative session, Brownback gave mixed messages.

On one hand he said he could live with whatever the Legislature decided, but on the other, he said, it would be better for the Legislature to approve his plan now because of a pending school finance lawsuit that is set to go to trial June 4.

“Once you have that case decided by the lower court, your options of how you deal with things get substantially restricted,” Brownback said.

“Your best time to deal with this is before you go to trial. As an old attorney and litigator, the time to settle something is before you go to trial, rather than afterwards,” he said.

But the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, which includes 55 school districts, say that the main issue is not the school finance formula, but the level of funding put into the formula.

Based on a previous Kansas Supreme Court decision, the Legislature approved a three-year funding increase to schools, but before the final year was allocated the Legislature started cutting education funds.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said he doubts an interim study could salvage Brownback’s plan.

He noted that most school officials oppose Brownback’s proposal, except for a couple of school districts in Johnson County.


KSManimal 5 years, 9 months ago

"he said it would be better for the Legislature to approve his plan now because of a pending school finance lawsuit that is set to go to trial June 4."

Brownback has removed whatever doubt there might have been that his plan has nothing to do with "fixing" the school finance formula; and everything to do with avoiding the inevitable ruling in favor of the plaintiffs.

See, if the formula is completely different by the time the trial starts, then the lawsuit becomes moot.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 9 months ago

I would say that Gov Sam Brownback cannot be trusted and would explore a back door plan that would effectively bypass the Kansas Legislature.

kochmoney 5 years, 9 months ago

Insert pun about finding Brownback's back door with both hands here.

Michael LoBurgio 5 years, 9 months ago

A chapel coming to the Kansas capitol?

In the busy, busy world of the state capitol, it's hard to find a place for peace of mind let alone a place to ask guidance from your maker.

So it is that state Rep. Arlen Siegfreid, an Olathe Republican, is proposing to add an all-faith chapel to the state capitol. Where it will go or how much it will cost is still unknown.

His bill says the chapel shall be a refuge for prayer and meditation.

Siegfreid, a Christian, believes a chapel would be an important addition to a building where so many people either take part in prayer breakfasts or Bible studies.

"There are a lot of people in the Legislature who faith is important to," said Siegfreid, the House majority leader. "There are issues in the Legislature and in the capitol that will try one's faith."

Read more here:

Michael LoBurgio 5 years, 9 months ago

merrill Sam Brownback would explore a back door plan, That's what he said!

headdoctor 5 years, 9 months ago

It really doesn't matter if one or all of Brownbacks plans for taxes and school finance get in place. It will not simulate business or create jobs. What it will do is raise property tax as well as increase income taxes on the bulk of the working class who are least able to afford it. What good will any of this do if Kansas residents can't afford to live here. Of course it is always possible this is part of his plan. Turn Kansas into a fiefdom where he is in control of everything.

pavlovs_dog 5 years, 9 months ago

Change the official state animal to the weasel in Sam's "honor."

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 9 months ago

When in Sam Brownback's life was he a litigator?

Let alone a person who can refer to himself as "an old attorney". Sam Brownback is an old politician, but apparently he is ashamed of that.

If he were really an old attorney and litigator, then he would be aware that his plan isn't "settling" anything, because he is refusing to take input from the plaintiffs.

JackMcKee 5 years, 9 months ago

We need to run this fool out of Kansas. Post haste.

headdoctor 5 years, 9 months ago

On the bright side we have term limits for least for now. I am wondering if Brownback and company keep pushing how many people might leave Kansas before he does. Not a positive thought for parts of the State where they have been trying to get people to move to. The less populated areas will literally catch property tax hell. Pretty bad when the idea of selling out and moving a little over 40 miles to the east sounds like a better plan.

deec 5 years, 9 months ago

My son is doing that today. It is a sad thing when Missouri is more reasonable than Kansas.

JackMcKee 5 years, 9 months ago

here's the sad thing. A good number of "republicans" would rather see anyone to their left p'd off than actually have effective governance and good policy. It's what's destroyed the right in American politics. All they know how to do is get angry.

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

I have a some questions that I haven't settled in my own mind.

(1) Is Gov Brownback really as stupid as he appears from his actions?

(2) Does he think we are stupid?

(3) Does he know exactly what he's doing and thinks he can get by with it?

(4) All of the above

(5) Something else (fill in the blank) ___

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

Verity: You are, I believe, being too harsh on Muscular Sam. 1. He's not stupid, but tone deaf, maybe from too many years in Washington. 2. He doesn't think the people are stupid, but counts on the Sheeple being uninformed and subject to his magical thinking, particularly on budgets and taxes. 3. He knows what's he's doing (following ALEC and the C-Street Cults' agendas) and does believe he can get by with it. 4 and 5 I'll skip for now.

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