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Archive for Monday, October 8, 2012

School cuts haven’t made a difference, group told

October 8, 2012

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— A task force appointed by Gov. Sam Brownback to recommend ways to make school spending more efficient started its work on Monday, hearing from a group that has been a constant critic of how schools spend money.

Dave Trabert, president of the Kansas Policy Institute, told the task force that recent cuts in school funding haven’t made a difference in the academic performance of students.

“Certainly money matters. You can’t take it all away,” Trabert said. “But simply spending a little less is not going to have an impact on outcomes. Or spending more.”

KPI describes itself as “an independent think-tank that advocates for free market solutions and the protection of personal freedom for all Kansans.”

Trabert was scheduled to speak to the task force for two and a half hours. He was to be followed by Mark Tallman, a lobbyist with the Kansas Association of School Boards, and then Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis, who were each allotted one and a half hours.

Brownback appointed the 10-member commission last month, saying, “We need more money in the classroom and less in administration and overhead costs.”

On Monday, the task force heard from Trabert and then broke for lunch in another room. Joined by Trabert, the task force members questioned him further. Then Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer addressed the task force and reiterated the governor’s position in making schools more efficient.

“This is an issue that is very important to Sam and me,” Colyer said. One of the task force members, Dave Jackson, who is a former Republican state senator from Topeka, said he hoped Brownback would be able to use the task force recommendations. He said former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, would establish task forces that didn’t “accomplish a thing.”

In setting up the task force, the governor’s office said that only 15 of the state’s 286 school districts complied with a state law that requires at least 65 percent of state funds be spent in the classroom. But there is no such legal requirement, and school officials released a report that showed based on state funding, all school districts were surpassing the 65 percent level.

Democrats also criticized Brownback, a Republican, for not appointing anyone on the task force who works in a school, such as a teacher, principal, administrator or school finance officer. The task force is dominated by CPAs, including Brownback’s budget director, Steve Anderson. Brownback has said he wanted financial experts to look at school finance.

With state revenue expected to be tight because of the massive tax cut signed into law by Brownback, and the fact that public school finance makes up half of the state budget, supporters of school funding have been fearful of what will happen to school budgets in the next legislative session.

At the outset of the task force meeting, Chairman Ken Willard, a Republican from Hutchinson, said he realized the panel would be working in a political environment, but he said he would do his best “to see we are not distracted by politics.”

He also said that some have said the objective of the task force was to recommend a cut in school funding. But, Willard said, reducing the state’s commitment to education “is not our purpose.”

Meanwhile, in a separate news conference, House Appropriations Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, said two school reforms that will probably be considered next session include legislation making major changes to teacher tenure and vouchers that would allow tax dollars or tax credits to be used to send students to private and parochial schools.

Of school vouchers, Rhoades said, “It’s like a tidal wave that is coming. A lot of parents love that.”

Comments

atiopatioo 1 year, 6 months ago

If spending billions and billions on education over the last 50 years gets America 47% mature graduates not paying taxes, what would another billion or two get America? 46% not paying taxes?

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1 year, 6 months ago

Initial thoughts.

The Guv did not intend for anyone outside out the KPI, AFP and Koch to have any say in the discussions.

"Trabert was scheduled to speak to the task force for two and a half hours. He was to be followed by Mark Tallman, a lobbyist with the Kansas Association of School Boards, and then Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis, who were each allotted one and a half hours."

"On Monday, the task force heard from Trabert and then broke for lunch in another room. Joined by Trabert, the task force members questioned him further."

In essence, Trabert bogarted the discussion for close to 4 hours. 2-1/2 hours formally, then close to 1-1/2 hours for "discussion" at lunch.

Having seen him in action, I have no doubt Trabert was "in the face" of anyone with whom he spoke.


The Guv wants no educator input into the discussion. He simply wants a bunch of "Yes Men", answering to his and Trabert's handlers, who will agree with everything he (read as Koch) wants. This is the same thing he did with the budget ("I don't want any Democratic votes on this budget.") and when he actively campaigned against members of his own party because they did have the "Conservative Credentials" he wanted.


"in a separate news conference, House Appropriations Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, said two school reforms that will probably be considered next session include legislation making major changes to teacher tenure and vouchers that would allow tax dollars or tax credits to be used to send students to private and parochial schools."

Rhoades said what The Guv told him to say. He's long led an attack against teachers, and using his capability as The Statehouse Bully, The Guv is intensifying that attack.

Vouchers and tax credits? Ha! The 2012-2013 tuition at Bishop Seaberry is $10,875.00 (without lunches). The vouchers and tax credits will be only for the amount of money the state would have paid for each student, about $3500/yr. That leaves $7300 +- for the parents to pay. Low income and those on free and reduced lunches would be laughed out the door. Further, private schools have no obligation to educate all students and they can disenroll your child at any time for a multitude of reasons.

The end result of what The Guv wants will be an exodus of good students (say the upper 25%) from a school, leaving public schools to educate ALL students regardless of abilities.


The Statehouse Bully wants to destroy the public education system in Kansas, and he's doing so with the blessing of the KPI, AFP and Koch, none of home support in any way, shape or form public education.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

Sam Brownback gave AMC theatre $47 million tax $$$$$ who then sold out to China....

Financial experts..... where the hell are they?

Worker's taxes siphoned off by their bosses Thursday, April 26, 2012 | Posted by Jim Hightower

Where is the $47 million tax dollars that belong to Kansas taxpayers?

Last year, Kansas used workers' withholding taxes to bribe AMC Entertainment with a $47 million payment to move its headquarters from downtown Kansas City, Missouri, to a KC suburb on the Kansas side, just 10 miles away. What a ripoff! Among the 2,700 corporations cashing in on such absurd diversions of state taxes from public need to private greed are Goldman Sachs, GE, Motorola, and Procter & Gamble.

For more information – and for ways you can help stop this despicable giveaway – get the full report, entitled "Paying Taxes to the Boss." It's available at www.GoodJobsFirst.org.

>
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Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

Republicans don't know any financial experts. Republicans deal in wreckanomics not jobs and economic growth.

The repub party declared the day Obama was elected their primary function would be to make Obama a one term president. Consequently their millions of NO votes became the disastrous campaign against women,The USA and jobs for Americans. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/09/did-republicans-deliberately-crash-us-economy

BRING ON EMPLOYMENT = THE GREATEST REPUBLICAN FEAR ON EARTH!!!

Repubs fear a dramatically improved quality of life for all WOULD keep them out of control for decades….. we would hope.

Keep in mind a prospering america can overcome repub fear mongering... it must.

What is the repub party afraid? Why do they ALWAYS say no?

What do Repubs fear?

--- Fear a dramatically improved quality of life for all americans

--- Fear Jobs Jobs Jobs for americans

--- Fear New USA industry thus new wealth for america

--- Fear new cleaner energy sources because it would create so many new jobs and reduce rates across the board

--- Fear Medicare Single Payer Insurance for = huge tax dollar savings to government,public schools,small business and all of us in general. Single Payer Medicare is the answer. -http://www.healthcare-now.org/ -http://www.pnhp.org

--- Fear Clean Collar Industries which produce jobs that cannot be outsourced

--- Fear educated Americans because WE ask questions

--- Fear losing of tax incentives/tax breaks for the wealthy that actually create tax increases for entire spectrum of the middle class

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tange 1 year, 6 months ago

“The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance.”
— Benjamin Franklin

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oletimer 1 year, 6 months ago

Bull Sh*t. This deal has got to be the biggest circus brownyback has put together yet. First a group of his "appointees". Then another bought and paid for group to actually say money does not matter in education. Trabert either is on drugs, or owes brownyback a big one to be stupid enough to say what he did. Losing schools and teachers doesn't hurt our education system? REALLY? There are three things you don't screw with when it comes to money. Education, firefighters, and law enforcement. You do and you pay in the long term. Today's kids that brownyback is cutting funds from so they can get a good education will be tomorrow's leaders. Oh wait, The way things are going now, maybe they don't need the good education. Just look at brownyback. They could probably do better now. FYI. Did anyone else read the article the other day stating that Kansas employees are not smart enough to qualify for many available jobs? This merry-go-round just keeps on turning.

3

KansasLiberal 1 year, 6 months ago

"vouchers that would allow tax dollars or tax credits to be used to send students to private and parochial schools."

Absolutely not! If you want to send your kid to a private or parochial school that's your choice, and YOU can pay for that choice. Tax dollars should be for public schools ONLY.

4

melott 1 year, 6 months ago

The flat screens are in the lunch room at LHS.

0

rockchalk1977 1 year, 6 months ago

Vouchers are the answer to making schools more cost effective and competitive. Union decertification would also help.

1

Dave Trabert 1 year, 6 months ago

If you would like to see the facts and efficiency opportunities presented yesterday, a copy of the my presentation is online at http://www.kansaspolicy.org/ResearchCenters/Education/EducationDataWarehouse/default.aspx

0

Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 6 months ago

Nothing wrong with stream lining and cutting out the fat. This is the model for a successful business. Finding the correct balance is the trick.

0

verity 1 year, 6 months ago

Down here in District 72 we're trying very hard to get Mr Rhoades unelected. Probably can't say much more than that on these boards, but we can use all the help we can get. Glenda Reynolds, who supports educational opportunities for all, is running against him.

It's not just about our district, it would benefit the whole state to get rid of him. In his first two elections he didn't win by many votes---the last one the person didn't campaign much---and Rhoades is very unpopular with even some conservative Republicans here.

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spiderd 1 year, 6 months ago

This group is extremely frightening. They do not even know what they're dealing with... and they get Trabert first and foremost for 2-1/2 hours? Why? Why him and his group? This is a sham.

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oldbaldguy 1 year, 6 months ago

So where do you find a private school to use your voucher on in Healy, Kansas?

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Paul R Getto 1 year, 6 months ago

Money won't matter one way or the other? Find me a military or business leader who will say that. Only schools seem to need to defend this principle. When the USSR fell, the John Birchers (AKA the Kochs) needed a new enemy. They picked schools and the poor and the battle has been raging for 30+ years. Mr. Trabert carries on this tradition.

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Centerville 1 year, 6 months ago

I like the voucher idea. Just in time to allow parents to rescue their children from 'Common Core.' I mean, come on, what a ridiculous name, for starters.

0

SouthWestKs 1 year, 6 months ago

Hey Scott,

Why did you leave out that the schools are going to get a couple hundred million dollars more this year than last year?? Oh, that does not fit your agenda does it!!

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 6 months ago

Dave still hasn't stated with any specificity what he would cut out of schools in order to make the even more drastic cuts that we all know is the goal of the Koch Bros front group that employs him.

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autie 1 year, 6 months ago

Vouchers cherry pick in favor of the rich kid schools. And Dave Trabert is full of it..recent cuts haven't affected outcomes? How do you come up with that genius boy? I think maybe a few years need to pass before you can effectively measure the success or lack of with this first round of cuts. A couple of months after the end of the academic cycle is hardly a baseline.

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Kate Rogge 1 year, 6 months ago

I object to public tax monies being spent on private schools. Vouchers are intended to rob the public to pay private vendors.

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melott 1 year, 6 months ago

And so, why the flat screen TVs in the lunch room?

0

cowboy 1 year, 6 months ago

So we have a batch of accountants who are going to figure it all out. Im sixty one and I remember an orderly classroom , no kids on meds , no IEP's, no children who would dare strike out at a teacher. There were no kids that required diapers , or one on one full time staff. Parents were involved .

If our teachers could truly concentrate on teaching without having to also deal with the all of the behavioral issues that are in the classrooms today the job would be quite simple.

The fact of the matter is that the schools are not staffed to deal with all these other needs and the simpletons in the state legislature and the Governors task force are convinced that the schools are just wasting money. come spend a day in the teachers shoes folks.

Teach a class of thirty while trying to manage a couple of behavioral disorders. I would bet you they would quit after one day.

Support our teachers and properly fund and staff our schools. They have a daunting job and deserve every bit of support we can give them.

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hyperinflate 1 year, 6 months ago

"[X],an independent think-tank that advocates [Y]"

C'mon thinking people. Isn't this sentence alone enough to make you be suspicious of both [X] and [Y], regardless of what they are?

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