Archive for Friday, July 6, 2012

Kansas teachers group recommends legislative candidates

July 6, 2012


— With schools facing an uncertain funding future, the Kansas National Education Association released its list of recommended legislative candidates.

The primaries are Aug. 7, and the general election Nov. 6.

The KNEA’s recommended list includes 56 Democrats and 42 Republicans who the KNEA said have pledged to support children.

The candidates are selected based on answers to questionnaires and interviews with teachers from the candidate’s district.

“Those local teachers decide which candidates show the greatest support for public schools; those who will stand up in Topeka for a quality public school for every child,” said Terry Forsyth, KNEA director of political action.

The KNEA said that schools have been harmed by budget cuts in recent years, and that the tax cuts signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback will devastate the state budget and lead to additional cuts in school programs.

“It’s not just our schools that will suffer if we don’t find the best policymakers,” said KNEA Vice President Karen Godfrey. “Our roads and highways, public safety and vital services for seniors and those with disabilities are all at risk. We simply must elect legislators who are more interested in preserving our Kansas quality of life than in promoting a particular ideology,” Godfrey said.

In the Senate, the KNEA recommended a group of moderate Republicans who have been targeted for defeat by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce.

Locally, the KNEA recommended Sens. Marci Francisco, of Lawrence, Tom Holland, of Baldwin City, and Anthony Hensley of Topeka. All three are Democrats who will face Republican challengers in November.

In local House races, the KNEA recommended Reps. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, and Ann Mah, D-Topeka. Davis and Sloan are unopposed in their re-election bids.

The KNEA said it was continuing to interview candidates and additional recommendations may be coming.


toe 5 years, 9 months ago

Nice list of anti taxpayer candidates.

overthemoon 5 years, 9 months ago

Those who cut education are the ultimate 'anti-taxpayer' legislators. They jeopardize our future when considering only short term monetary 'savings'.

Jayhawk1963 5 years, 9 months ago

The idea that spending more money on education improves the product is pure NEA bulls**t !!! The Kansas Policy Institute studies have conclusively proved this. Therefore, all taxpayers should treat this list as the very candidates to vote AGAINST !!

To improve public education, you need to do two things: outlaw all teachers unions and approve school vouchers.

KSManimal 5 years, 9 months ago

Please cite some peer-reviewed, published studies which support your claims about unions and vouchers.

KPI, which should be an acronym for "Koch Puppets Incognito", does not have "studies" of any kind. What KPI has is pile after pile of nonsense that KPI's "researchers" are paid to produce in order to support the Koch brother's personal agenda.

kugrad 5 years, 9 months ago

Are you another paid KPI lackey? There are no "studies" that they have done; they simply use NEAP data and misconstrue it to their purposes. Obviously, you know little about this issue if you actually think the union in KS hurts education. You can't provide one truthful, real-life example of the union in KS doing something that is bad for children or blocking an actual research-based (non political) reform.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

Actually, they're pro taxpayer candidates. They'd like to see the average taxpayers get the benefit of educated children, unlike the tax freeloading Kochs.

Patricia Davis 5 years, 9 months ago

Why would a teacher in Kansas ever vote republican?

justoneperson 5 years, 9 months ago

Fair enough. However, I think part of the goal is to make sure reasonable candidates make it out of the primary elections--hence supporting moderate Republicans (i.e. reasonable Republicans) over the extreme right-wing Republicans (i.e. the real RINOs). I think that's one of the goals of the Traditional Republicans for Common Sense--starting to fix the problem by getting rid of the right-wing in the primary.

Michael LoBurgio 5 years, 9 months ago

A teacher who votes Republican is the same as a chicken who votes for Colonel Sanders!

Over 100,000 Teacher Jobs Lost in Last 12 Months

Such cuts obviously have perilous effects for the nation’s education system and long-term economic health, but it hurts the economy in the short-term too. Teachers are disproportionately women, so the cuts affect a subset of worker that already faces significant disadvantages in the American workplace, and these losses no doubt played a role in the recession’s out-sized impact on female workers.

Michael Pinegar 5 years, 9 months ago

Anyone for the teachers unions, are not for the children.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

Yes, it's a well known fact that anyone who becomes a teacher only does so because they hate children and only do so because of the fame and fortune that it brings (heavy sarcasm.)

KSManimal 5 years, 9 months ago

You're wrong, 420.

Look at any public school systems across the nation or around the world, measure them by any standard you choose, and you will find that the most successful public school systems are also the most highly unionized.

Finland, widely regarded as the world leader, has a 100% unionized teaching force.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

Obviously. They enter into a profession that pays on average only 65% of what the average college graduate earns because they hate the children so much.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

You might find this hard to believe, but every single school district in Kansas is run by an elected school board, not the NEA, and they all run under the direction of the Kansas Board of Education, whose members are also elected, and have no affiliation with nor direction from the NEA.

I know, about now you're rolling your eyes, thinking, "Facts, schmacts."

Richard Heckler 5 years, 9 months ago

Kansas ranks 49th in economic growth which is one place from Mississippi.

RINO Republicans obviously flunked out in job growth and economics.

Dan Eyler 5 years, 9 months ago

Teachers are starting to sound like welfare recipients. The old school model is done. We need change. 16% increase in taxes for schools is disaster for the families who have kids in school. Which one of you can afford this? This isn't about kids this is about unions. Go and look at all the new football stadiums, baseball fields and soccer fields with their artificial turf and the 10's of million dollars to fund that and seriously ask your self how short of money these schools are. It was for the kids, right?

Patricia Davis 5 years, 9 months ago

The teachers were not the ones who converted bond money to improve elementary schools to fund the athletic fields for LHS. That was the school board. Our brilliant school board. Put the blame where it belongs. Having been a teacher, I know how hard their work is. No one I worked with ever went into teaching for the money. Kansasfaithful is a term not appropriate for someone who wishes to deny the state's responsibility for educating the children of this state. As for the school boards who misappropriate our money, I think that was a crime and should be treated as such.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm tired of seeing us allocate money to new buildings and stadiums when it should be going to instruction. But that's not about unions. That's about the way money is allocated. If more money were funneled to teachers and building maintenance, less for new projects and new buildings, you wouldn't see that. Oh, by the way, that's also something I bet the unions would support.

kugrad 5 years, 9 months ago

Because you don't understand the laws of the state kansasfaithful, you may not realize that the STATE, not the unions, not the districts, separates money spent on facilities from money spent to teach kids. It is state law, passed by Republicans, and long-standing.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 9 months ago

True, but USD 497 skimmed the money for sports complexes off a bond to rebuild and repair schools.

True, but it is possible to float a bond for operations including personnel. Our local board has never attempted to do that. Not sure they've ever discussed the option.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 9 months ago

Now, USD 497 will be asking for a new bond to take care of repairs and possibly build a new school.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

I seem to remember that bond specifically being for sports complexes. I voted against it. And I'm not sure we actually can float a bond for personnel. I believe it runs into issues with state law and how education is funded.

It's easier to build a new building than it is to maintain the one you have. It's easier to build a new building than it is to hire teachers to teach there. And that makes for stupid policy and inefficient funding.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 9 months ago

There never was a bond on the sports complexes. The money came from "savings" on the new South Middle School, updates to Broken Arrow, and similar projects around town.

And, more and bigger facilities means more staff, maintenance, upgrades.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 9 months ago

I like the new stadiums and they were needed. I think this a dead horse we need to stop beating.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 9 months ago

Are the stadiums needed more than fixing leaky roofs on the elementary schools. That was one of the trade offs.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 9 months ago

If you are okay with mediocrity, high dropout percentages and a proliferation of high priced private schools for the children of wealthy parents, vote for a conservative.

Otherwise, vote for moderates if you can find one or Democrats if you cannot.

We don't have very many good choices out there. That is the bottom line. It would be nice to put some people in government who knew how to manage money and who believed in working together to find solutions that benefit the middle class.

james bush 5 years, 9 months ago

Ever get a look at the NEA national leadership? KNEA is just another public union that wants Obama to be re-elected along with other union-backed candidates. NEA is giving teaching a bad name.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

So, are you suggesting that they instead support Romney and the Republicans, who are anti-union, anti-worker and anti-middle class, and downright anti-democratic (i.e., focused entirely on fully establishing a plutocratic republic?)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

"Performance" is merely a code-word for the right to fire for entirely arbitrary reasons that have nothing to do with performance, but everything to do with getting rid of anyone who doesn't toe your ideological line, (and work for peanuts.)

DrQuack 5 years, 9 months ago

Responding to "Just Another Bozo On This Bus": You are absolutely correct! "Performance" is the excuse usually given to get rid of someone who is outside your clique, and whom you dislike for any sort of reason.

And another thought - the first thing to be done to improve our schools should be to instill discipline. What goes on in some of the classrooms in our district is shameful. Some students' behavior would have resulted in a trip to the wood shed with their father many years ago.

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