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Archive for Saturday, October 13, 2012

Democrats, GOP argue over who cut more school funding

October 13, 2012

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TOPEKA— With the Nov. 6 election approaching, Kansas politicians are fighting over public school finance.

On the campaign trail, Democrats are pounding Gov. Sam Brownback and his conservative Republican followers for making what the Democrats say are the largest cuts to public schools in Kansas history. And the Democrats are accusing Brownback of enacting those cuts in order to shore up revenue to pay for the massive tax cut that Brownback signed into law, which will eliminate state income taxes for the owners of 191,000 businesses.

“That is the largest (school) cut that has ever been put before the Legislature at any one time,” said House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence. “The people who voted for that budget clearly decided that putting money away for a big tax (cut) was more important than getting money into the classroom.”

But Republicans are crying foul, saying that there were larger school cuts during the administration of Brownback’s Democratic predecessor Mark Parkinson.

The clashing viewpoints are being hashed out in legislative candidate forums across the state.

House Appropriations Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, said Parkinson cut $388 from base state aid per pupil.

“These budget cuts were supported by the minority party and moderate Republicans,” Rhoades said.

Under Brownback’s tenure, base state aid per pupil was cut $232 per student, from $4,012 per student to $3,780 per student.

Democrats are quick to note the different circumstances facing Parkinson, who came to office in the middle of the worst budget crisis in Kansas history. The former lieutenant governor became governor in 2009 when Gov. Kathleen Sebelius was picked by President Barack Obama to be head of the federal health and human services agency.

And Parkinson approved the school cuts himself, in a series of incremental allotments.

“There is a stark difference between having to make budget cuts out of necessity during a recession affecting the entire country and most of the world, and making cuts to education in order to stock money away for a massive tax cut,” Davis said.

But when Brownback came into office in January 2011, he was facing a projected $500 million revenue shortfall.

Revenues have since rebounded, and earlier this year, he signed an increase of base state aid of $58 per pupil, raising that to the current level of $3,838 per student.

Democrats says the increase was not nearly as much as it should have been given the magnitude of earlier cuts, and the state produced a $500 million ending-year balance.

And they say because of the tax cuts Brownback signed into law, school funding will suffer in the future.

In addition to the tax breaks for business owners, the new law will reduce the top individual state income tax rate from 6.45 percent to 4.9 percent.

Legislative researchers say the cuts will produce revenue shortfalls approaching $2.5 billion. But Brownback says the cuts will grow the economy, which will produce more revenue.

Comments

tange 2 years, 2 months ago

First

"... and it seems like twenty-five years
of promises and give me more
scenes of a hand-me-down in
dresses heard before...

see a place and a dream of the dead days
a following lost and blind
cross my heart with silver
here's the key behind...."

/ and last
and always

jafs 2 years, 2 months ago

Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone.

L. Cohen.

Dan Eyler 2 years, 2 months ago

Seems the guardians of public schools speak with fork tongue. Democrats cut education in 2009 and there were no questions asked. Democrats and liberals cut the very funding that "the children so desperately need in the classroom"..They also lie to their liberal followers who are not capable of critical thinking to see through the mean spirited message we see on the campaign trail this year. To suggest democrats are the guardians of the middle class is the eqivillant of the big bad wolf babysitting red ridinghood. Liberals are bankrupt. No ideas for getting the economy going, no ideas for job creation, no ideas for reducing the debt, no ideas for improving education except asking for more money we don't have. Liberals democrats and so called moderate republicans have no ideas period except the same message that the tax payer needs to pay more to fund more bankrupt ideas of the past. More fodstamps, more disability checks, more hopelessness. No thanks, and Kansas is about ready to turn the chapter of doom and gloom heaped on the state and our nation and replace it with real opportunity that will require hard work and much high expectations.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 2 months ago

"But Brownback says the cuts will grow the economy, which will produce more revenue."

This supply side economics has neither grown the economy nor produced more revenue anywhere not since Reagan/Bush brought this concept forward.

The more taxes were cut the more money got borrowed. Reaganomics aka Supply Side Economics has killed an estimated 20 million jobs in America.

Is Brownback stashing tax dollars away to pay for his Flat Tax that will be shoved down our throats.

Supply Side Tax cuts do not make money. It pulls money out of the economy which creates deficits and unemployment.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 2 months ago

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

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

This Republican 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.

This Republican ENTITLEMENT - Fully 81% of the national debt was created by just these three Republican Presidents.... Reagan,Bush and Bush http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html

booyalab 2 years, 2 months ago

The we-can't-afford-tax-cuts BS that Davis promotes has got to be the most idiotic idea out there now.

We "can't afford" for the people who can help us to get out of a recession to have more money to spend and make jobs.

We "can't afford" to spend less money in government and not reach bankruptcy.

We "can't afford" to make the state hospitable for individuals and businesses

gbulldog 2 years, 2 months ago

The problem with our education system is that its primary purpurse is not education but social justice or political correctness. In the process, the have taken away incentive for a student to succeed, because they do not want to hurt the ones who are not capable of suceeding or or do not want to succeed.

To fix the education system, I suggest the following:

1) advance a student only when the have met criteria for advancement

2) no one under 18 can work over 10 hours a week nor work after 9:00 pm unless they met college entrance criteria,

3) no one under 18 will be issued a drivers license unless they have met completed college entrance criteria,

4) Any teacher must have professional education in the subject they are teaching. As an example, an accounting teacher must have sucessfully completed college level accounting courses.

5) A teacher would be require to work in private industry 1 years for every 3 years they teach.

peka, they took computer resources away from the "west side" schools, and gave it

chootspa 2 years, 2 months ago

I didn't get around to reading your list. I was too busy admiring the sheer irony of the first paragraph.

Dan Eyler 2 years, 2 months ago

With the exception of #1 I think your way off base. You make some good points but you need to do some reading on the topic of Liberty and individual freedom. We don't need more government rules and regulations telling people what they must do for a reward such as a driver's license. Not working before 18? Kids should get a job as soon as they can doing something they must earn. On the other hand if someone doesn't take advantage of their God given right and freedom to make good decisions in their lives, we don't owe them a cell phone, cash, and the lifestyle they didn't strive for.

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