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Should Kansas expand gambling to create revenue for public schools?

Asked at Checkers, 2300 La., and on Massachusetts Street on June 20, 2005

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Photo of Sheryl Wiggins

“Yes, because the state needs money for public schools. Gambling is a huge tourist attraction and will bring in outside money.”

Photo of Sean Riley

“I don’t think that it would make a difference. I think they would find some other place to spend the money because education doesn’t really seem to be a priority here.”

Photo of Jacque Rothwell

“Yes, anything for education, but not if there are other motives behind it.”

Photo of Justin Graves

“No. It’s just not a sustainable way to raise money for schools, and you don’t want to teach children that the way to pay for their education is through vice.”

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GreenEyedBlues 12 years, 10 months ago

The kids should also sell cigarettes and birth control during lunch to raise money to buy balloons and cardboard trees for the junior-senior prom!

Yes, the state needs money for public schools. But I think this solution is a rather extreme one.

jonas 12 years, 10 months ago

Why should the state have control over gambling anyway? Personally, I think Sean above has about the right of it, but I would go farther and say that, even were it earmarked and then ultimately even spent on schools, it's not like it would go to the teachers or the classrooms, but to administrators. As much as I loathe the idea, I'm beginning to think that the only way to fix education is to get it out of government control as well.

Man, I'm crabby at this time of the morning. Off to work!

Richard Heckler 12 years, 10 months ago

Switch all state KDOT and legislators pay revenue to education. Attach KDOT and legislators pay revenues to gambling instead of Education.

Why not tack on an education fee to moving traffic violations: speeding $25 tailgating $50 DUI $75 Accident involving DUI $150

The republicans are trying desperately to change the subject of debate during the special session. The issue once again is PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING not some bogus $20k desk in Dodge City or the courts.

The issue is public school funding and the failure of the republican majority to follow through. This problem would not be on the table if the republican majority had not wanted to play politics with a tax cut years ago. That was not smart accounting practices but plenty of smoke and mirrors. If democrats went along at least they have the insight now to see that it was a mistake in which they tried to correct during the Graves administration. Republican Governor Graves wanted the mistake corrected and he was ignored by the republican majority for eight years.

New revenue has not been forthcoming and again the ruling party sat back and did nothing except watch the state cookie jar go empty...not real smart. There are some things uneducated politicians should leave alone. Public school funding is one of them.

Obviously there is a concerted effort by republicans to spin this around and distract from the real issue which is the republican party's failure to fund public schools. It is the republicans that forced the issue to the court in the first place. The republican majority ignored the consultants that they, the republicans, hired to advise the legislators. It is obvious to me that republicans want to waste more taxpayer money discussing the courts instead getting down to the business of funding public education.

enochville 12 years, 10 months ago

When there are legitimate, important expenses such as education and Medicaid, the state should raise taxes. But, no politician wants to do it because it is unpopular and they might lose their jobs. So, they propose ideas to raise money like gambling that cripples a segment of society. Granted, there are many people of the middle class or higher that can gamble for fun and it does not affect their ability to provide for their families. But, the poor see the possibility of freedom from the bondages of debt and struggling to make ends meet through gambling. As they lose they become more desparate and addicted and destroy their homes in the process. With taxes, everyone takes a little hit in the pocketbook, but it is an expense that is worth it to educate our kids.

neopolss 12 years, 10 months ago

jonas, you're coming around! I'm glad someone else sees that the only way to stop the socialist process is by ending public state education! Only then can we stop the government from constantly looting the pockets of taxpayers.

Missouri already funds education with gambling, which creates a new dilemna - pleasing the pigopolists. Since their budget now depends on state gambling, no risk can be taken to harm their industry. And everyone thought the mafia was done and gone!

highlander 12 years, 10 months ago

Gambling is a cop out... read history;does anyone remember Alexander City Alabama... crime captial of the south in the fifties? We need a non Repubilican (Fascist) government at the State and Federal level ; also non-cost shifting of taxes to the working class of this Nation. Remember, Coporate America only provides 11% of tax revenue to the Nation....

christie 12 years, 10 months ago

If you look at States where Gambling/Lotto sales were implemented to pump revenue into the school system, you'll find those States have the worst school systems in the nation.

I like the idea of an Education Fee on Moving Traffic Violations. I'd like to see that expanded to cigarettes, beer, liquor, and wine as well. I'd like to see a surcharge on luxury items like cars that sell for over $30,000 and I'd like to see a surcharge on houses over 4000 square feet. Then I'd place a small, say 5 cent surcharge on all fast-food too.

John1945 12 years, 10 months ago

Rather than pouring more money into the sewers of these government child abuse centers and then trashing our culture and exploiting the poor with more gambling, let's make all funding of education through vouchers given to the parents of school children for use in any school of their choice.

Surhoff 12 years, 10 months ago

Legalize pot and use the taxes from it to pay for schools. Could have made quite a lot of money here in Lawrence this past weekend if we did that.

usaschools 12 years, 10 months ago

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Change the structure of school districts in Kansas to resemble those of some other states. Go to a county structure where there is one school district per county. A large part of our current funding problem comes from small rural districts that each have a superintendent, elementary, middle, and high school - even though they are just a few miles from another small town doing the same thing. These districts get more $ per pupil and are less efficient in their spending than larger districts like Lawrence. It would make sense to consolidate the smaller districts in some way. Perhaps not the way I suggested, but in some way that makes sense. Fewer districts = more efficient use of money.

  2. Tax pornograpy, including a $10 per site tax on registering for an internet pornography site in KS. Add a $2 tax on every porno mag sold in the state and write into the tax law that a) this money must go to schools and b) that earning from this source of revenue will not affect the primary appropriations by the state, but be supplemental.

    These suggestions aside, gambling IS NOT A LONG TERM SOLUTION! It is a political solution to try to get something done in the short term, but it is not going to get it done long term.

ms_canada 12 years, 10 months ago

Good idea extreme! Might cut down on the time it takes to read this board and we must admit we don't do much to further the education of anyone, at times, just at times. :-)

captain_poindexter 12 years, 10 months ago

by the way, the cookie jar isn't empty (see $172million surplus), the SC just thinks the schools should get more dinero. gambling is not a good solution for many reasons (all stated above). I don't like taxing behavior, but.....hell I don't know.

captain_poindexter 12 years, 10 months ago

Oh, and I am a conservative republican AND I think pot should be decriminalized and/or taxed.

christie 12 years, 10 months ago

Vouchers... you know I never really understood how vouchers would help anyone but those who need them the least. Rich people would have their childs private education subsidised. Yea that's what we need. Subsidise the rich. Poor people can't afford private schools even with the vouchers. Perhaps they could sell the vouchers to the rich so they'd end up paying nothing while their poor children went to poor schools. Sounds like a Republican plan to me.

captain_poindexter 12 years, 10 months ago

everyone can afford vouchers, I just don't think they are needed in Kansas. If you can show me one study that shows poor folks can't afford vouchers I'll be quiet on the subject. but that's just not the case. and how would a voucher system subsidise rich people's private school? unlike the public school system, in private schools you pay for YOUR child's education, nobody elses child. so, how is that again? then we get down to the root of the post, I hate republicans. oh, republicans are at fault for everything, I hate republians. etc. etc.

wichita_reader 12 years, 10 months ago

Even better than that, Tom_Foolery, how about the state pass a law charging Kansans a $10,000 fee to get a divorce, and earmark the money for education.

Jayhawk226 12 years, 10 months ago

I think merrill had a great idea...tacking "education fees" onto tickets administered for moving/speeding violator.

And since the LJ-World recently printed an article indicating that what, 1 in 7 of you KS drivers, have no idea of what the rules of the road even are and are literally considered a "hazard to the roads"...

...think about all the money that can be generated into our public schools.

Maybe now I'll take it easy on the KS drivers and not feel the need to cut them off and swear all the time...I'll just hope their driving stupidity will ultimately pay-off when I get a quaint teacher salary increase.

Jayhawk226 12 years, 10 months ago

But now that I think about it...

...I'm sure my insurance rates would continue to rise because of this driving idiocy and it would all average out in the end. Damn!

Jayhawk226 12 years, 10 months ago

And I actually feel kinda bad now, I shouldn't have said...."YOU KS drivers."

Instead perhaps it should read, "1 in 7 of THE KS drivers," since there are a great many of you out there do follow the rules of the road and have overall common sense behind the wheel--I think.

I should not have been so quick to judge. (Wow look at me, I'm softening up a bit...I think the chlorine at the pool is getting to me)

tell_it_like_it_is 12 years, 10 months ago

I don't care what they do as long as they don't raise taxes again. I'm tired of seeing money wasted. You give them a little money and then they want tons more. And then as if thats not bad enough they have to build all these new school buildings they don't need and raise everyone's property taxes all to hell to boot. If gambling is what it takes then so be it.

wichita_reader 12 years, 10 months ago

I like it. YDP that think a YIELD sign is a STOP sign make my blood pressure rise.

wichita_reader 12 years, 10 months ago

Also, YDP that drive in the left-hand lane while not passing or avoiding an obstruction in the roadway are breaking the law!

sunflower_sue 12 years, 10 months ago

Take a lesson from Missouri. They promised lots of money to schools from increasing gambling...and where is it? I certainly don't know! Hmmmmmmmm......

captain_poindexter 12 years, 10 months ago

I love YDP!

ha, it works!

How about, whatever I lose at the future boats in Kansas I get to remove from my income tax in kansas?
that cool?

tell_it_like_it_is 12 years, 10 months ago

Here's a thought have the teachers on salary the nine months they really work and then if they do training ect. through the summer pay them hourly.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 10 months ago

I figure if legislators salaries and expenses are tied to gambling revenue they will be a bit more careful how it is spent. The same with KDOT expenses. I must say I have strong reservations about depending on gambling revenues which is a big reason I would not like education funding attached to such.

The majority of republicans, not all, are the big problem. There are a few sensible republicans in Topeka as well as in Washington, D.C. They have just become a bit more difficult to locate. This is not to say that all democrats are great boys and girls.

Vouchers likely would increase taxes as well and there is not a likelihood of a better education. All of a sudden private bottom line schools would begin to be seen everywhere as a means of obtaining some corporate welfare.

Lawrence has a very good public school system which should be funded to the max. IMO education provides a great return on the tax dollar.

raven 12 years, 10 months ago

I don't know what to think about gambling funding schools. There must be a good way to make sure the KS schools are adequately funded. Obviously the teachers work hard and are not paid enough. Teaching is a low paying profession bottom-line, everyone knows that. Pro Athletes are paid millions to entertain us, while those who are educating our children those who will lead us some day are paid $20,000-30,000 annually. Pretty scary we need to make sure that enough money is going to schools. For all the things that our schools need. Anyone have any good ideas?

Centrist 12 years, 10 months ago

SURE .. why not? Works well in Nevada, I'm told ... the schools are quite good there, apparently .. and, wait for it .. FREE. The down side would be the Vegas Strip, etc. It's just that the gambling is OH, so close by. Here in KS though, it would not be on every street corner. By the way, that's what happened in Australia when they allowed "poker machines" or the "pokies" to be installed in all the pubs. It meant you could gamble at your local watering hole. There have been mixed results. I say go ahead, but keep it away from "residential areas". And make it watertight as far as budget allocation. Kansas does a better job than Missouri by far in this department ...!

Centrist 12 years, 10 months ago

$10k for a divorce?? What if your marriage sucks! And what about an abused spouse?? There'd have to be waivers ...

Jayhawk226 12 years, 10 months ago

I do like the "YDP" alot!!

Another fantastic suggestion....

; )

angie 12 years, 10 months ago

Since the federal, state and local governments can't seem to come up with another long term solution to the financial problems facing our schools, I say go ahead. The children deserve the more than what they are currently getting. Let's invest in their futures.

wichita_reader 12 years, 10 months ago

The 10k divorce was a bad joke.

On topic, because I have not yet expressed my opinion, I would support expanded gambling, period. I hate having to drive 2.5 hours to KC to play at the boats. Adults should be able to spend their money in whatever manner they choose, as long as it doesn't directly harm another person. If it benefits the general public by increasing revenue to the state which can be used for public education, even better.

Centrist 12 years, 10 months ago

Hey, Wichita_Reader, they should put up a casino out on I-135 ... out by the greyhound track or somewhere near there, ay?

wichita_reader 12 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, I think there's a local initiative pushing for it up in Park City. Any casino would certainly get some business from me. I've been having a heck of a time finding enough people to play a good game of poker since I've moved down here.

Centrist 12 years, 10 months ago

Good luck, w_r ... I hope they build it. Cheers.

Ceallach 12 years, 10 months ago

Since I was actually required to work all day at my job I am just getting to today's topic and posts. [I have to find another job!] I gotta say YDP have done an excellent job of presenting both sides and asking good questions.

IMHO, we should not pursue the proposed expansion as a means to fund education -- I think we would be gambling too much on, well, on gambling :)

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