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Archive for Friday, March 14, 2014

Moody’s calls school finance ruling a ‘credit negative’ for Kansas

March 14, 2014

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Moody's Investors Service said this week that the Kansas Supreme Court's ruling in a school finance case last week casts a negative outlook the state's credit rating.

“The decision is a credit negative for the state of Kansas (Aa1 negative) because the mandated increase will pressure state finances that are already stressed by revenue losses from income tax cuts,” the company said in a report issued Thursday.

The court ruled last week that the Legislature needs to restore an estimated $129 million in state funding for capital outlay and local option budgets for lower-wealth districts.

But it also remanded back to the three-judge trial panel the larger question of whether state funding for K-12 education overall is unconstitutionally inadequate. That panel ruled in 2013 that the Legislature needed to restore base state aid to the statutory level of $4,492 per pupil, an increase that would have cost about $450 million a year in additional funding.

The Supreme Court said the panel used the wrong standard for determining whether base funding was inadequate and directed the lower court to reconsider that issue using a different standard.

Moody's also gives credit ratings for 42 of the state's 286 local school districts. The company said the restoration of capital outlay and LOB funds will have “minimal positive credit benefits” for those districts.

“Because our 42 rated Kansas school districts rely on state aid for an average of 65 percent of operating revenue, in recent years most districts have reduced operating expenditures in line with state funding cuts to maintain operational balance,” Moody's said. "Any increased aid following the court decision will likely be used to reinstate recently cut programs or undertake deferred capital projects, rather than to bolster district fund balances or cash positions.”

Comments

Randall Uhrich 9 months, 1 week ago

"state finances that are already stressed by revenue losses from income tax cuts" We can lay this problem directly at Sam Brownback's feet. he should have been impeached a long time ago, but hard to do with a rubber stamp Republican legislature.

Richard Heckler 9 months, 1 week ago

Worker's taxes siphoned off by their bosses Thursday, April 26, 2012

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

My congratulations to workers in 16 states – from Kansas to Maine to Georgia, New Jersey to Colorado! Many of you will be thrilled to know that the income taxes deducted from your paychecks each month are going to a very worthy cause: your corporate boss.

Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center, has analyzed state programs meant to create jobs, but instead have created some $700 million a year in corporate welfare. This scam starts with the normal practice of corporations withholding from each employee's monthly check the state income taxes their workers owe.

But rather than remitting this money to pay for state services, these 16 states simply allow the corporations to keep the tax payments for themselves! Adding to the funkiness of taxation-by-corporation, the bosses don't even have to tell workers that the company is siphoning off their state taxes for its own fun and profit.

http://www.jimhightower.com/node/7723#.UkS9vBaTOX0

MerriAnnie Smith 9 months ago

You know what causes me to shake my head, Richard? The fact that what you said could be screamed in headlines across the country and few far right Republicans will 'get' it. They'll read a little and then say, liberal media lying to us.

Julius Nolan 9 months ago

The far right koch heads in Kansas don't give a damn.

Steve King 9 months ago

Where's Dave Trabert our famous spin master? He's on the other page making excuses. Guess he doesn't have his spin speech written to counter Moody's decision.

Julius Nolan 9 months ago

Guess Dave's too busy thinking up the lies that the western Kansas ignorant voters will believe.

Jeff Kilgore 9 months ago

Western Kansans? How about "Kansans"?

James Howlette 9 months ago

Johnson County is more willing to buy his spin. Plenty of rich people who don't want to pay for western Kansas to get an education.

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