Archive for Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lawrence school official thankful for increase, ‘scared to death’ of impact of Brownback tax cuts

May 24, 2012


— Lawrence schools Superintendent Rick Doll said Thursday he is thankful the Legislature approved an increase in school funding but "scared to death" about what the tax cuts signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback will do to school budgets in future years.

"We'll probably be back in a cut mode in a couple of years," Doll said. "We've been through that cut mode before, and it's really hard on the community, it's damaging to morale, and it's not good for kids," he said.

In the budget approved by legislators earlier this week, public schools would receive an increase of approximately $40 million for the next school year. The measure is now before Brownback for his consideration.

That increase would raise base state aid from $3,780 per student to $3,838 per student, an increase of $58 per student. That level remains far below the $4,400 per student in 2008-09 and below the base state aid level of $3,870 per student of a decade ago in 2001-02.

In recent years, schools have sustained several rounds of cuts as the state weathered historic drops in revenue during the recession.

For the Lawrence school district, the increase approved by legislators would mean an additional $804,860 for the next school year. Eudora and Baldwin City will receive an additional $110,664 and $109,208, respectively.

Doll said the Lawrence district has lost $10 million in state funding during the recession cuts. That loss of revenue has meant eliminating some programs and increased classroom sizes, Doll said.

Now with a possible increase for next year, Doll said there will be a lot of competing needs for the money. "I'm very appreciative and thankful for the additional dollars we are getting and we are going to spend it on kids," he said.

But that increase may be short-lived because of the new law that will cut individual income tax rates for 2013 and eliminate income taxes for the owners of 191,000 businesses. The state sales tax of 6.3 percent is already scheduled to decrease to 5.7 percent in July 2013.

A legislative research staff report said the tax cuts would produce a budget shortfall for the next session of the Legislature that could grow to the $2.5 billion to $3 billion range within six years.

Brownback, however, contends that the state budget will be in good shape because the tax cuts will result in increased economic activity and jobs. He also said his administration will continue to find areas to reduce spending, although he vowed to fund what he calls the core services of government.

"Now, all major policy changes, just like changes in life, are met with understandable criticisms, and skepticism," Brownback said. "But let me say clearly we will meet the needs of our schools, and our most vulnerable and our roads will get built," he said.

But educators say Brownback's math doesn't add up. Losing a significant amount of tax revenue will have an impact on schools, which is about half of the state budget, they said. A simulation done at the request of a legislator, showed what would happen if general state aid to schools was reduced by $1 billion. Lawrence schools would be cut by $21.1 million under that scenario.

"I hope the governor is right," said Doll. But, he said, he doesn't believe the tax cuts will create the economic increase that would be needed to offset the loss of revenue.

"We are scared to death," Doll said. "The state could be running deficits within two years. If they start to run deficits, then the solution is to raise taxes or cut school programs," he said.


Alyosha 5 years, 11 months ago

Kansans interested in sound public policy should remember that "our roads will get built" because of the tax increase the legislature passed and the Democratic governor signed.

Brownback had nothing to do with that, and the very same anti-government types pushing for these current tax cuts pilloried those who passed the bill.

question4u 5 years, 11 months ago

China, India, and the EEC will no doubt send a big thank-you note to Brownback and his supporters. World leadership in the STEM fields is worth trillions. In Beijing, New Delhi, and Brussels they love Brownback logic: "let's bring prosperity to Kansas and the U.S.A. by cutting education back to pre-21st century levels."

in Kansas, you'd think that people would know better than to eat their seed corn.

Kookamooka 5 years, 11 months ago

The 20th century funded education. I wouldn't mind going back to 20th century funding levels. Education has taken the worst economic hits in the 21st Century. Give me 1950-1999 funding ANY DAY!

Dave Trabert 5 years, 11 months ago

It's understandable that you would say that because taxpayers have been led to believe that school funding has been cut back to the Stone Age, which is not true. Except for a small dip in 2010 and 2011 (1.4% over two years), taxpayer support of public schools in Kansas has grown steadily each year.

In 1994, state support of education was $1.5 billion and total taxpayer support was $2.6 billion. By 2005, state support had grown to $2.4 billion and $4.3 billion. This year, KSDE predicts state support to be $3.2 billion and total support to be $5.7 billion.

KSDE also reports that Instructional (essentially, classroom) spending jumped 87.1% between 1999 and 2011, while inflation rose 32% and enrollment only increased 1.4%.

The facts of school funding are dramatically different than you have been led to believe.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

Yes, spending for education went up during that period-- because it was woefully underfunded previously, and meeting the needs of ALL students has become the expectation, not the exception.

These huge tax cuts will now mean that state spending across the board will have to be cut dramatically, particularly spending for education.

To contend otherwise indicates that you need one of the remedial math courses you and your ilk just cut funding for.

Dave Trabert 5 years, 11 months ago

What is your basis for saying education was 'woefully underfunded.? There's never been a study conducted to determine what it costs to meet education outcome requirements AND have schools organized and operating in a cost-effective manner. The study used in Montoy was supposed to do that, but A&M admits they deviated from their own methodology and ignored the efficiency part of the study.

Legislative Post Audit is also on record saying they were never asked to determine what it costs to meet outcome requirements AND have schools organized and operating in a cost-effective manner.

The simple truth is that no one knows whether schools are underfunded, overfunded or funded just right. We each have our own opinions but there is no independent analysis that has determined appropriate funding levels. We should have that study done and then fund it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

So, your suggestion is to just cut funding to schools to the bone and see what happens? Is that your idea of a "study?"

Well, I don't need a study to tell me what will happen when the funding for education is dramatically cut, the only possible outcome of these tax cuts, because I'm don't suffer from the ideologically induced stupidity you peddle.

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

You also don't get Koch-funded incentives to selectively quote funding years in order to deceptively frame the argument. I bet you'd be much better at arguing against the best interest of Kansans if you did.

Tracy Rogers 5 years, 11 months ago

Come on Dave. Your puppetmaster (aka Koch Indrustries) can pay to have your study done in a heartbeat. Just ask them to write the check.

Larrytown 5 years, 11 months ago

Your Comment: "What is your basis for saying education was 'woefully underfunded.?

My Response: Montoy v. State, No. 99-C-1738

Your Comment: "There's never been a study conducted to determine what it costs to meet education outcome requirements AND have schools organized and operating in a cost-effective manner."

My Response: Ahh.....trying to muddle up the issue. Bottom line, there has been plenty of cost studies done. Including the one used by the KS Supreme Court in their decision. That's all that matters.

With that being said, my guess is that this will eventually be back at the KS Supreme Court.....given that overall revenues will most likely not be able to keep up with overall expenditures. Cuts will happen...State of Kansas will be sued...KS Supreme Court will side with education...State of Kansas will be forced to increase funding. Groundhod Day all over again....

optimist 5 years, 11 months ago

I'd love to see you show your work here. Dave_Trabert provided mathematical evidence and you dispute it with left wing gibberish in lieu of facts or data. I have children in schools in Lawrence and value their education very much. I don't believe for a minute that education is under funded. I'm open to any facts you may provide that dispute my anecdotal experience and Dave_Trabert’s facts.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 11 months ago

Optimist has a very active fantasy life. Lawrence public schools are among the best in the state. They could be better. Sadly, the schools in coming years will be forced to cut essential programs like football in order to be able to afford niceties like readin, ritin, and rithmetic...

ProfessorSeamus 5 years, 11 months ago

Dave -

I would be interested in knowing how you calculated the enrollment increase number you cite. I am not saying you are wrong, I would just like to understand your methodology. I went to the KSDE website and, best I could find, they gave enrollment numbers back to the 2001-02 school year. During that time frame enrollment in Kansas public schools has increased from 468,171 to 482,798. By my calculations that is an increase of about 3.12% over ten years, which is more than double the 1.4% you cite over the past 13 years. Again, it may be that I just missed the information on their website and you may be correct, I just am not seeing how you achieved your results.

Also, I am curious why you campare funding levels from 1994 to present, but population figures from the 1999 year to present. There may be a good reason for this - maybe those are the data points that are easily available. But it looks misleading to say funding has gone up so much since 1994 and then compare that to the growth in students since 1999.

Tracy Rogers 5 years, 11 months ago

Data I see on KSDE website for head counts shows 487,737 students in 1993-94, and 512,201 students in 2011-12. That's an increase of almost 5 percent. Then take a look at special ed numbers, and reduced lunch, and free lunch numbers compared to 1993. Not to mention the increases in all the hispanic, asian, etc students that there has been. And you wonder why it costs more to educate kids today? Give me a break.

Dave Trabert 5 years, 11 months ago

KSDE uses full time equivalent (FTE) enrollment to distribute aid and calculate spending, so we use those same numbers in our analysis.

Dave Trabert 5 years, 11 months ago

The enrollment figures we use are the KSDE calculations of full time equivalent (FTE) students, which is the basis they use for calculating aid and spending per-pupil.

FTE enrollment is available is multiple pieces at or you can see a history of FTE enrollment by district at

I went back to 1994 on funding in response to someone's belief that funding had declined since the 90s...1994 is as far back as we have data. KSDE only has Instructional spending data back to 1999, so in order to demonstrate that Instructional spending has more than kept pace with inflation and enrollment, I could only go back to 1999.

jacklandish 5 years, 11 months ago

You mention that school funding has exceeded inflation by 55.1% and enrollment has barely increased. However, you don't mention increased costs associated with the upkeep of older facilities (which any building owner can tell you increases exponentially over time), increased energy costs (again exponential) and depreciation of assets all of which factor into much higher costs to the schools but do not necessarily mirror inflation.

Just because funding has increased at a greater pace than inflation, it doesn't mean that the schools have more available funds than they did in 1994. Based on Mr. Doll's comments this appears to be case. Your information is good to know, but your interpretation of the study appears pretty superficial at best.

Dave Trabert 5 years, 11 months ago

I would be happy to talk to you or even come to Lawrence and participate in a public discussion of these and many other factors of school finance.

In the meanwhile, you might consider the fact that the spending increases are only based on money that districts actually spent. They do not include the $400 million in state and local tax dollars that were used to increase cash reserves.

It's hard to make a legitimate case that districts don't have enough funds when they aren't even using all the money they receive...every single year.

Tracy Rogers 5 years, 11 months ago

Where would schools have been the past 3 or 4 years when payments were late from the state? Not spending every penny is called fiscal responsibility. They don't have the same luxury that the state does when it runs out of money and just delay paying your bills. Schools have contracts to honor and can't just close the doors when the money runs out. it also takes money to begin the school year before payments even start coming from the state.

Seems to me the state is trying to do this year what schools have been smart enough to do all along....end the year with a positive balance in the bank.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

Sam Brownbacks tax dollar background:

After spending so many decades in Washington D.C on tax dollar payrolls RINO’s are sure they learned all they needed to know about taking YOUR money and establishing reckless economies by way of Facism.

  1. ENTITLEMENT - TABOR is Coming by Grover Norquist and Koch Bros sells out state governments, public schools,SRS services etc etc to private industry = Grab Your Wallets!

  2. ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many $$ trillions (Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion), Plus millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance.

  3. ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out the Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern.

4.ENTITLEMENT - Bush/Cheney implied many financial institutions were at risk instead of only 3? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money?

  1. Tax cuts = ENTITLEMENT Still A Bad ENTITLEMENT Idea – Bush Tax Cuts aka The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class = duped one more time.

  2. In the end big debt and super duper bailouts were the results which does not seem to bother Republicans, as long as they are in power.

In fact, by the time the second Bush left office, the national debt had grown to $12.1 trillion:

  • ENTITLEMENT - Over half of that amount had been created by Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy.

  • ENTITLEMENT - Another 30% of the national debt had been created by the tax cuts for the wealthy under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

• ENTITLEMENT - Fully 81% of the national debt was created by just these three Republican Presidents.

  1. ENTITLEMENT - Starting in 2003, George W. Bush destroyed the world economy by encouraging U.S. banks to make loans to those who could not afford them, through schemes such as the "American Dream Downpayment Initiative".

Also through the destruction of oversight, such as lawsuits to prevent state securities laws from being enforced on Bush's watch.

Once Bush's policies led to their inevitable result of economic collapse, the United States found itself in a situation where it had to take on debt in order to restore the economy.

DeckDoctors 5 years, 11 months ago

Hahahahahahahah! Wheeeeew!! What are you smoking?

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

must be a great time for the stupid in Kansas.

DeckDoctors 5 years, 11 months ago

JackM do you really believe all the tripe your buddy just posted!? Keep fooling yourself, but America is waking up to the fraud in the White House and his supporters like you will be laughed to derision just the same. Wake up man! Dope smoking Hippies will not win this year just as they never got anywhere in the 60's.

Critical1 5 years, 11 months ago

So, here is my question. Where are you getting those rankings from? It is funny when I hear people talk about how bad American education is. Actually, we are doing pretty well. Most of the countries we are competing with only test their top 1-2%. Here we test everyone. If a student comes from Mexico, some other country or just moves into the local district we test them. Those students if they move in early enough count for the districts AYP numbers. So, what if we tested only our top 1-2% where would we actually rank. According to the NAEP test, which is the actual test we should be using in comparative scores the U.S. ranks really high. There was a suburban school district outside of Chicago a couple of years ago that got tired of hearing the same thing. It was a pretty affluent district and they tested their students using the NAEP exam. They were second to like Sweden in reading and 2nd to Singapore in math. So, before you start commenting on how bad we are doing take a real look at the numbers that matter. Lastly, not all countries have compulsory education. We are measured by how we educate all students who enter our buildings. In public education we do not get to pick and choose our students

DeckDoctors 5 years, 11 months ago

Yes, and we can use your argument to shut up the Liberals who are always clamoring for more money to fund education and the Unions who won't allow bad teachers to be fired but instead send them to rubber rooms to sit all day.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Yes, I recall Christ saying "shut up the Liberals".

DeckDoctors 5 years, 11 months ago

Well then you are reading a false copy of something, but not the bible. He did have this to say to those who mocked the truth - " You brood of vipers!"

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

I see - I have to specify that I was being sarcastic, huh?

Your posts are far from Christ-like, in many ways - you might want to consider following his teachings more closely.

DeckDoctors 5 years, 11 months ago

So you say you know Jesus? You know what his mind is in these matters? Tell me how you met Jesus and if you have decided to follow his teachings or are you just looking for an imperfect Christian to compare yourself to so you can assuage your guilty conscience about your rejection of his teachings?

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

My understanding and feeling for Jesus is as valid as yours, and based on my reading of the Gospels, as well as an inner sense of what he was about - some Christians call that keeping Jesus "in one's heart", I believe.

And, I would say that I generally follow them more than you do, if your posts are a good example of your general actions.

He preached love, forgiveness, charity, generosity, integrity, grace, and refraining from judgement.

Your posts are sorely lacking in those qualities, and instead filled with the opposites in many cases.

Also, of course, even if I didn't think much of him, which isn't the case, Christians are the ones obligated to follow Christ, and if they're not doing that, they should be aware of it, and consider that conflict. I would never criticize a Hindu for not being Christ-like.

buffalo63 5 years, 11 months ago

A good part of the "failure" in schools was because of No Child Left Behind, designed by the Texas people that were caught cheating on tests and failing to test certain students to make their scores look good. Teachers no longer had the time to teach subjects other than what was on the test and Science wasn't one of them.

hannahss 5 years, 11 months ago

Who are Mark and Lennon?

Marx and Lenin???

optimist 5 years, 11 months ago

Your assertion about those private school children taking money out of the public schools is ridiculous. The parents of those students (typically higher income earners) still pay a lot of taxes of which go to fund schools within the state of Kansas. I would contend that that money is likely divided amongst all school districts within the state rather than going to the school district they live in but it does nothing to reduce the overall education budget. Federal funding of Kansas schools may be effected if we have a disproportionate number of children in private education. If this is an issue it would be better addressed by reducing federal involvement in education. Considering there is no Constitutional basis for federal involvement it should be left to the states as intended.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

Guess what kinda schools all those countries that rank ahead of the US have?

That's right-- evil gubmint schools.

KSManimal 5 years, 11 months ago

"Before you start asking for more and more money, let's increase competition with school vouchers and decertify the teacher's unions. We can do better!" other words, you suggest doing the exact opposite of what the "top ranked" countries are doing?

Armstrong 5 years, 11 months ago

Knew this was a Rothy before clicking to open. Stir the pot Rothy don't report news

Alyosha 5 years, 11 months ago

He is reporting what the school official in Lawrence thinks about the fate of education in Kansas.

Should the paper not report on that, to satisfy your own bias?

Alyosha 5 years, 11 months ago

You are confusing the reporting of what someone says with the act of reporting itself. It's not so hard.

Rothschild frequently quotes the governor and others who hold a variety of perspectives. That's one of the things reporters do.

Now, if you simply don't like what people say, when Rothschild reports what they say, try simply saying something like "I don't like what this school official has to say."

See? Simple! And you don't expose yourself to being thought of by rational adults as someone who has very benighted views of what journalism is. 'Cause that's all your comment demonstrates as it stands.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

""But let me say clearly we will meet the needs of our schools, and our most vulnerable and our roads will get built," he said."

So, the rabbit he pulls out of his hat will hand him $2.5 billion?

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Reminds me of his promise to protect that funding while campaigning, which he almost immediately broke once elected.

I wonder if anybody is fooled this time around?

John Hamm 5 years, 11 months ago

"eliminating some programs and increased classroom sizes" and the loss of how many administrative positions? It's all about the kids isn't it? We shouldn't have to live within a budget 'cause we're educators. Well start educating again! The "kids" don't know math, English, spelling or history. What are they "learning?" How to feel good about themselves....

Dave Trabert 5 years, 11 months ago

Not sure how Mr. Doll arrives at the $10 million he says the district lost in state funding over the last two years. State aid this year is higher than last year, so maybe he's talking about the changes between 2009 and 2011. But even there, adjusting for the decline in enrollment, the 2-year total decline would be $3.1 million, which was more than offset by the increase in federal aid.

Ironically, the Lawrence district increased its carryover cash reserves in current operating accounts by $10.1 million between 2009 and 2011. Details at

LynnO 5 years, 11 months ago

These are facts that the media tend to ignore. Or- the fact that only a handful of states spend a higher percentage of their state budget on elementary/secondary education as Kansas.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

Translation-- the schools have been treading water for the last few years, but now we're going to use that as an excuse to drown them.

Dave Trabert 5 years, 11 months ago

State aid to public education this year is expected to be 34% higher than in 2005. Is that what you call 'treading water'?

And who said anything about 'drowning' schools?

More facts, less hyperbole please.

Tracy Rogers 5 years, 11 months ago

A big chunk of that figure is the way they changed what consisted of "state aid." Didn't used to count KPERS money in the state aid numbers did they? It's not money the school has to spend, it's just numbers on a report showing the dollars going into KPERS fund for the school. Now that figure is considered state aid.
So take that out of your figures and see what kind of a percentage you come up with.

Dave Trabert 5 years, 11 months ago

Again, not true. KPERS was always counted as state aid at the state level. It didn't run through district budgets until 2005, which is one of the reasons our comparison of district spending only goes back to 2005.

KPERS is also not a 'big chunk' of state aid but it is part of the cost of educating kids, just like salaries, payroll taxes and health care for employees.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"State aid to public education this year is expected to be 34% higher than in 2005."

Yep, the legislature was ordered to follow the constitution and quit underfunding schools. But you and they seem to think the constitutional mandate for public education should be ignored-- again.

Dave Trabert 5 years, 11 months ago

I am president of Kansas Policy Institute, an independent non-profit organization that works on state policy issues across the state of Kansas. I am also a member of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

My comments here and elsewhere are not in defense of anyone. Sometimes we agree with Governor Brownback and sometimes we don't.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

"Sometimes we agree with Governor Brownback and sometimes we don't."


Dave Trabert 5 years, 11 months ago

Our testimony submitted to multiple legislative committees is posted online at For example, we opposed the aspect of his tax plan that would have increased the liability on those earning less than $25,000. We also took issue with several aspects of his education plan. Shortly, we will publish a study showing that renewable energy requirements, which he supports, are not good economic policy and artificially increase the cost of electricity and food.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

you're responsible for building this disaster. I'm sorry you don't like the color of the drapes in the living room.

Dave Trabert 5 years, 11 months ago

For what 'disaster' do you believe I am responsible?

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

The $2 billion budget deficit which the state is staring down the barrel. What do you think, Dave.

Dave Trabert 5 years, 11 months ago

There is no $2 billion budget deficit. As explained in the press release we put out yesterday on our analysis of the tax bill (and available on our site), the standard methodology used by KSDE presumes nearly $700 million in more spending and does not account for the long-term impact of adjustments made in earlier years.

A one-time spending adjustment of just 6.5% through aggressive implementation of efficiency efforts would still leave spending above the FY 2011 level and allow for small annual spending increases using KLRD's revenue assumptions.

It's flattering that you think KPI is responsible for tax reform but our educational efforts on the need for tax reform only played a small role.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

I bet you've got some nice bridges to sell us too. You're the only group that has come up with these overly optimistic projections. Is it any surprise? 50% growth per year is required to pay for this plan. Thats straight from the state. Texas managed 15% growth with a much better economy with a similar tax structure. You are a snake oil salesman, Dave.

Dave Trabert 5 years, 11 months ago

Wrong again, Jack. The 50% bogus projection comes not from the state but from Bernie Koch's Kansas Economic Progress Council...representing local chambers of commerce and road builders who want state spending to continue to escalate.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

The numbers are backed up by the State's. It makes sense that when you cut $2 billion in revenue that it either has to be raised somewhere else or you have to start gutting programs. So it is accurate to say that in order to keep schools, roads and services at the current level, $2 billion has to be compensated in some way. Your fairy dust analysis is just a bunch of pie-in-the-sky Lafferian/Randian nonsense.

I like having decent roads, and so do most people, it's something that benefits everyone in the State. Unlike your tax scheme that's going to raise taxes on most Kansans, while at the same time reducing the quality of their schools, roads and services. It's no wonder they have you trolling message boards spreading propaganda. This is the most unpopular piece of legislation to come out of Topeka in my lifetime.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

ALEC's paw prints are all over this policy. We all know it, so take ownership of your $2 billion gamble. I hope it succeeds because if it fails, Kansas will be in a very difficult spot. If that happens I'm sure you'll be the first to admit you were wrong. You and Brownback should then proceed to exit from public policy for the rest of your lives.

DeckDoctors 5 years, 11 months ago

Haha Ol' mouth insert foot! You should look before you leap off those socialist cliche cliffs!

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

"Sometimes we agree with Governor Brownback and sometimes we don't."


DeckDoctors 5 years, 11 months ago

What scares me to death is the politically correct garbage our schools turn out and the free speech they limit. If Mr. Doll and his cohorts are not rewriting history, he is pushing for more and more tax money to build his little corner of socialistic utopia with teachers who espouse typical humanistic politically correct junk. If the schools would stick to the basics of math, reading, writing and REAL fact based measurable science the taxpayer may give even more money.

DeckDoctors 5 years, 11 months ago

It doesn't get any more real...truth hurts and this organizer better get his 'stuff' organized and ready to move out of the White House and back to Kenya.

Alyosha 5 years, 11 months ago

Laughably ignorant comment. It's like some hacker made a script that outputs random nonsense made out of anti Obama myths. Well done, whoever the hacker is!

Of course a rational citizen would never stoop to believing such nonsense and then basing their civic participation on it.

rtwngr 5 years, 11 months ago

He's happy to have the extra funding now but is worried that in a couple of years we're in the cut mode again? Seriously? Well, how do you feel about the continue to run a deficit and continue to cut funding now mode, Einstein? You're just another product of the left wing, Keynsian spend baby spend, indoctrination. The old model of raising taxes and spending it on anything and everything doesn't work. Immediate history has proven this. It's empirical. It can be measured and it has. Why don't we go ahead and try some austerity for a while and see if it helps? It can't be worse than the past few governors have done.

Steve Stucky 5 years, 11 months ago

Sam, relax. I would worry (scared to death) more about the tree that could "kill you to death" your trying to hold up.

kansasredlegs 5 years, 11 months ago

The article should have been titled: "Breaking News - Chicken Declares Sky is Falling"

Alyosha 5 years, 11 months ago

That would then be unethically inserting a right wing bias into the news. So, no, the headline should not read as you suggest.

The headline accurately reports what the school official said, and ethically used quote marks to make sure readers know the words are those of the source, not the editorial voice of the writer, the copy editor, the editor, or the publisher.

In other words, solid non bias up the entire editorial ladder to the publisher.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 11 months ago

Until we have a performance based education system ... well ...

rgh 5 years, 11 months ago

The schools are getting some back this year but not near enough that's been taken away the past 4 years. The cuts will come back next fiscal year because our legislature and governor will simply talk about the increase for 2012-2013 then make the cut. Rick Doll is dead on. This is a political ploy.

oakfarm 5 years, 11 months ago

"Investing in education" is a misleading canard. It is not an investment; it is a huge expense. And it is not an investment in a student's education, it is an expenditure primarily on pensions, healthcare costs and administration. And it is not an investment in student learning; there is little evidence that dollars spent produce more or better education, just more expenses. The public education lobby is massive, especially in states like California and New York. They lobby for teachers, not for students or for education. And as long as you have to be rich enough to live in a 'good' school district, 'public education' is not open to the public but rather to the rich people who live in that district, creating their own private enclave and working hard to keep the general public out of public schools. 'Public education' is an expensive middle-class entitlement that negatively impacts the poor.

optimist 5 years, 11 months ago

What exactly makes a school administrator an expert on economics and tax policy? Tax rates have varying effects on overall revenues. If lower taxes draw more business and create more employment income tax revenues will go up. The question may be will they increase as much or more than the revenue lost through the cuts. I don't know but there are historical bases to believe it likely. Brownback will get the blame if there are deficits and should get the credit if there aren't. Mr. Doll would do well to remember that he is our employee and he is accountable to us, not the other way around. If he can't make his operation successful on a no frills budget then maybe he should consider another job. Private sector business has to deal with revenue and budgets every day. Why would governmental agencies including school districts operate any differently? I appreciate the challenges but accept no excuses.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

He's more reliable than discredited Art Laffer. But, the debate is over. We're stuck with this stinking pile of dung now, so let's see how it plays out. I hope this state finally purges itself of the wacky far right wing nut jobs for good after this disaster unfolds. Kansas is a pretty nice place to live when you don't have to deal with political extremists economic experiments.

Synjyn Smythe 5 years, 11 months ago

Too stupid to figure it out himself, Doll will again enlist a taskforce.

Jayhawk1958 5 years, 11 months ago

Doesn't do any good to create more jobs when the workforce lacks the education to do the job. Unless we are adding minimum wage jobs that don't require much education, which I believe the Governor is really thinking. Even minimum wage jobs require math skills.

Tracy Rogers 5 years, 11 months ago

So what are schools supposed to do? You've got Dave and his buddies saying spend the money. Then when they do, people like you doubt how scared they are. One of those damned if you do, damned if you don't situations.

Centerville 5 years, 11 months ago

'Scared to death?' How pathetic is that? And, these tax cuts are brought to you by the Kansas Senate, which has a President who thought he could be too clever by half. LJW reporting at its finest.

Alyosha 5 years, 11 months ago

It is wholly appropriate to non biased citizens to read about what a Lawrence school official thinks about state legislature actions. It fits every definition of being news worthy for a local community news organization.

Surely you aren't suggesting that reporting be based on what biased right wing people see fit for the rest of the citizenry to know about?

Likely you just disagree with what the school official says, but then are irrationally elevating that reasonable stance to the wholly unsupportable position that a community news organization's success is relative to the degree it only reports on those things that agree with your already settled biases.

Luckily the LJW has a more professional and ethical model of journalism that yours.

Sunny Parker 5 years, 11 months ago

Get rid of a couple of those highly paid 'Administrators'! That should make up for it. Or how about live within your means? Lawrence has a problem doing that!

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

What's on the Brownback Agenda?

US Public School System is Under Attack

by Liza Featherstone

The US public school system, once a model for the world, is under sustained attack by the nation's elites. Philadelphia, the latest casualty, is getting ready to sell off its schools - and their governance - to profiteers and snake-oil salesmen. We already know how this story ends.Students protest school closings outside district headquarters in Philadelphia.

These are privately run schools that use public funds. Perhaps most disturbingly to those who value democracy and doubt the wisdom of corporate elites, the city will have no oversight of its own school system.

Schools will instead be governed by "networks", control of which will be auctioned off through a bidding process, and could be bestowed on anyone - including a CEO of a for-profit education company.

The situation in Philadelphia, which has received amazingly little attention from the national media in the US, offers a disturbing window onto what the US elite is planning for the rest of our public schools - disturbing because Philadelphia's experience has already demonstrated that turning public education over to private entities will ultimately lead to its destruction.

The fact is Philadelphia is already the most privatized system in the US. In 2001, the state of Pennsylvania took over the city's school system and turned many of its schools over to private operators, even offering up 25 schools to for-profit companies. A study [PDF] by Vaughan Byrnes of Johns Hopkins University showed that, five years into this sweeping overhaul, the schools under private management were academically underperforming the public schools.

Not surprisingly, the bad education delivered by privatized education also comes with a heavy dose of corruption: at least six Philadelphia charter schools are under criminal investigation by the office of the state's attorney general, after the Philadelphia Inquirer - and the city's comptroller - reported rampant financial mismanagement and nepotism in the city's charter system.

As in other cities, public money was extensively abused in real estate profiteering schemes, as charter school operators used schools as tenants, paying money to themselves to rent their own property. In one particularly classy instance, the charter operator was running a private parking lot on school property.

Exorbitant salaries were common for the charter school operators, and some implausibly held fully salaried jobs in multiple schools, billing the city for more than 365 days in a year.

At least two Philadelphia charter school operators have pleaded guilty to one such series of frauds - with sentencing scheduled for July - and the Inquirer's investigations may lead to further prosecutions.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

I didn't know that the Gov had anything to do with the public school mess in Philly. BTW, Philadelphia has had Democrats as mayors from 1952 to this very day. Maybe they should take responsibility for the dog's breakfast they've made of things.

pace 5 years, 11 months ago

I worry about the schools. but worries me most immediately is the troops coming home, when they need, and deserve our support. We won't deliver. Jobs and services, NOW. I want to see some action on that front, both in Kansas and in Washington.

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