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Archive for Friday, April 25, 2014

Brownback speaks to Leadership Kansas, avoids protesters

April 25, 2014

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Gov. Sam Brownback was in Lawrence Friday to address the 36th annual class of Leadership Kansas, a program of the Kansas Chamber that prepares selected young adults to be leaders in business and government.

But he also managed to avoid the roughly dozen or so teachers who had gathered to greet him outside the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St. He entered and exited the center from the alley behind the building instead of in front, where half of New Hampshire Street remains closed because of construction.

Teachers wave to passersby and wait to greet Gov. Sam Brownback Friday at the Lawrence Arts Center. The teachers were later told that the governor had gone in the back entrance to address a Leadership Kansas group. The teachers are opposed to the governor's recent passage of a school funding bill that eliminated tenure.

Teachers wave to passersby and wait to greet Gov. Sam Brownback Friday at the Lawrence Arts Center. The teachers were later told that the governor had gone in the back entrance to address a Leadership Kansas group. The teachers are opposed to the governor's recent passage of a school funding bill that eliminated tenure.

Addressing the leadership class, as well as the dozens of alumni of the program who attended, Brownback spoke about the importance of having role models and mentors, recalling one of his own mentors, Roy Cook, from near Brownback's hometown in Linn County. Cook advised Brownback to keep his promise not to seek more than two terms in the U.S. Senate.

“If a man breaks his word, it breaks the man,” Brownback recalled Cook saying.

He also spoke of the importance of resting and enjoying each moment, recalling a passage by St. Augustine: “There we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise.”

“I think the best thing often we can do in busy lives is rest,” he said. “Rest right where you are and see what's going on right around you.”

Outside the auditorium, teachers clad in red T-shirts had gathered hoping to confront the governor before the appearance, something that has become common wherever Brownback has gone since he signed a school finance bill that repeals teacher tenure rights.

“If you support teachers, you support children of Kansas, and he is not supporting Kansas kids at this point,” said Lori Greenfield, a fourth-grade teacher at Prairie Park School in Lawrence.

Comments

Devin Wilson 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Go TEACHERS! Our Governor thinks that you either 1) don't vote or 2) will have total amnesia come November.

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James Howlette 4 months, 4 weeks ago

He thinks if he bans abortions enough times, it doesn't matter if he ruins the state completely.

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Richard Heckler 4 months, 4 weeks ago

" Ohio Governor John Kasich tried to follow the ALEC template, but voters overwhelmingly rejected that agenda in a public referendum. "

A lot of movies can be entertaining, but none will be more important or relevant than a half-hour documentary I recently watched: The United States of ALEC.

This film, featuring Bill Moyers, does a masterful job of explaining how the closed-door manipulations of the American Legislative Exchange Council and its corporate lobbyists affect public policy in every realm of our society -- including education.

Our nation spends about $500 billion in local, state and federal funds on public schools from kindergarten through high school. Most Americans view this as a wise investment in our nation's future. Throughout the 20th century the U.S. was the clear leader in public education. We created the most vibrant economy the world has ever known. The record speaks for itself -- public education is a great investment.

But there are people who look at our investment in public education, and they see a treasure chest. Their first thought is, how can they tap into those funds for their own private gain? If just one percent of education spending were diverted to private profit, it would mean $5 billion a year in someone's pockets. And that's just counting K-12; higher education is already a huge for-profit sector.

A simple fact of business: You have to spend money to make money. And those who want to privatize education are willing to spend lots of money and effort to push their agenda. One of the main ways they are doing this is through ALEC.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-van-roekel/exposing-alecs-agenda-to-_b_3223651.html

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Richard Heckler 4 months, 4 weeks ago

" Ohio Governor John Kasich tried to follow the ALEC template, but voters overwhelmingly rejected that agenda in a public referendum. "

ALEC has pushed education vouchers, which use public funds to pay for private schools, for years. They haven't been deterred by the fact that voters have rejected vouchers time and time again. In states where courts held that vouchers weren't legal, they have looked for loopholes in the law.

Currently there are at least five different bills drafted by ALEC that use various approaches to divert public funds to private schools. They all have one thing in common: They undermine our capacity to create great public schools in every neighborhood, by diverting scarce resources that public schools desperately need.

Today, 17 ALEC governors offer 33 programs that allow parents to use taxpayer money to send their children to private schools. This includes traditional vouchers as well as tax-credit scholarship programs that give individuals or corporations tax reductions if they donate to scholarship funds. My home state of Arizona adopted this tactic.

Vouchers are only one side of ALEC's education agenda. If they can't get public funds for private schools, they try to privatize the public schools.

This is already happening in more ways and in more places than you might think. For-profit companies are managing many charter schools, including online schools where students rarely see a teacher. Although a new study raises serious concerns about virtual schools, they can deliver profits for investors.

So the core of ALEC's education agenda is about vouchers and privatization. Of course, since educators have unions that resist vouchers and privatization, they will do anything in their power to weaken our unions and silence our voices. That's why ALEC backs anti-union measures like the attack on workers' right to collective bargaining. They want to strip away our ability to negotiate not only for salary and health care for our families, but also for things that affect our students, like smaller class sizes.

ALEC has been pushing this agenda for years, but it largely escaped public notice until 2011, when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker launched an all-out attack on teachers and other public workers.

That same year, Ohio Governor John Kasich tried to follow the Walker/ALEC template, but voters overwhelmingly rejected that agenda in a public referendum.

Since then, ALEC has come under closer scrutiny, and progressive organizations have begun to shine a brighter light on its activities.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-van-roekel/exposing-alecs-agenda-to-_b_3223651.html

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Michael LoBurgio 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Running out the back door to avoid protesters. What a great show from the governor.

17

Lynn Grant 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Brownback says "Rest right where you are and see what's going on right around you." He should open his eyes and mind and see what is going on around us: a state being driven off a cliff because of his inability or refusal to think for himself. Take a break from ALEC, Koch & their groups like KPI and AFP, Sam, maybe then you could see what's happening in Kansas. It ain't pretty.

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MerriAnnie Smith 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I wonder when Sam Brownback wakes up each morning, is he thinking about how unhappy most Kansans are with his efforts to make Kansas not only a laughing stock of the world, but a backwards state where only the wealthy can live a decent life and have a decent future; or is he thinking about how the Koch boys must be so pleased with him.

11

Richard Heckler 4 months, 4 weeks ago

"or is he thinking about how the Koch boys must be so pleased with him."

Yes he is. Sam Brownback does not work for Kansas. I'm wondering how many ways the ALEC Koch political empire might be laundering money into his bank accounts. Offshore accounts etc etc etc.

10

Sam Crow 4 months, 4 weeks ago

MerriAnnie, you liberals are actually funny.

0

MerriAnnie Smith 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Hi, Sam. I'm happy I gave you a laugh.

Hey, you wouldn't be related to Jim, would you? jk

5

Julius Nolan 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Yes, logical common sense and thinking is funny. To brownies and the Kochs worshippers since they don't understand those things. Sure your real name isn't Jim?

9

James Howlette 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Jim's name wasn't really Jim. It was Thomas Rice.

0

James Howlette 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Unlike politically biased judges. Those really aren't funny.

1

Richard Heckler 4 months, 4 weeks ago

There are 17 other states with ALEC governors who are keeping an eye on Kansas

Voters should overwhelmingly reject the ALEC agenda backed by a demand for a public referendum before any changes take place within OUR public education system.

Too many politicians simply cannot be trusted.

9

Lane Signal 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Go Teachers! It may be hard to keep the protests up, but I think if any group has a chance to wake voters up to Brownie's misguided agenda, it's teachers.

If you can actually get Brownie to start sneaking around to avoid protests, you are having an impact. He is counting on this blowing over soon. If teachers can keep it up, and perhaps some other groups join, Brownie will have an awful time trying to sell his lies in the fall and he may lose his office.

Please keep going!

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I posted a comment here on the wry humor of Brownback having anything to do with leadership yesterday. It is now missing.

I guess the owners of this news rag cannot have any one revealing that the emperor has no clothes. Or scruples. Or dedication to public service.

0

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I posted a comment here yesterday about how the wry humor about having anything to do with leadership. It is now missing from this fourm.

I guess the owners of this news rag cannot have anyone revealing that the emperor has no clothes. Or scruples. Or any dedication to any sort of reasonable public service.

I

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Oops!! "about how BROWNBACK has anything to do with leadership".......and so on. Sorry.

0

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Oops..I meant to say "how Brownback has anything to do with leadership" My bad.

0

Michael LoBurgio 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Sources: FBI examines lobbying by Brownback loyalists Inquiry focuses on Medicaid, 'pay-to-play' formulas

http://cjonline.com/news/2014-04-26/sources-fbi-examines-lobbying-brownback-loyalists

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