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Parkinson announces budget changes, slams Legislature’s tax breaks; Senate president advances tax increase plan

Get rid of the tax cuts for rich and for the special interest groups and maybe we won't have to raise the sales tax. The republicans want the poor and middle class to fund the state. They will never get rid of those tax cuts because that's who buys their seats in the legislature in the first place. It's not right.

March 6, 2010 at 12:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Should Lawrence public school teachers take a pay cut to help the district make up for a $5 million shortfall in funding?

I'm so done taking one for the team. Yes, I chose this profession, and I chose it because it's what I am passionate about. I chose it because I like working with kids--not because I wanted to get rich. However, I've got to make a living wage, too. Why should teachers always take the fall? We've been taking one for the team forever.

March 5, 2010 at 1:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Budget legislation on its way to governor's desk

Here's an idea: legalize marijuana, tax the crap out of it, and watch the money pour in. You know that it doesn't matter how much it costs, if it's legal people will pay for it.

February 19, 2010 at 11:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Budget talks don’t feel so good

I think we should count ourselves fortunate to not have the same problems that KCK public schools have...what a mess.

http://www.kansascity.com/105/story/1...

Maybe I am looking in all the wrong places, but I have not seen any stories regarding the state of education outside of Lawrence in the LJW. I think it would help to open up the eyes of the public by running a series of stories on how the current and proposed budget cuts are affecting different districts in the area (Topeka, Eudora, DeSoto, Perry, Santa Fe Trail, Ottawa, Baldwin, etc). I think it would be beneficial to see how Lawrence is faring compared to bigger, smaller, and equal sized districts. This is a problem that is facing every single district in the state, and I think too many people are unaware of how big the situation is.

February 16, 2010 at 12:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Senate to take up resolution against schools using tax dollars to sue state

I'm just curious--what evidence leads you to believe that schools are paid an exorbitant amount? Was it the 3700 teaching jobs that were lost in Kansas last year? Or maybe it was the talk of major school consolidations across the state?

It takes a lot of money to run a public school system. Teacher salaries, buildings and grounds maintenance, textbooks, computers, special education, at-risk, etc. That's just the tip of a very, very large iceberg.

I think at this point a lawsuit is meaningless--the state has no money to pay up even if they are found to have been acting unconstitutionally (which in my opinion, they are). This will be tied up for years in litigation. I'd love for schools to sue the state, but I'm afraid it won't have an affect. The state ignored the verdict in a lawsuit once, why shouldn't they think they can get away with it again?

February 10, 2010 at 11:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

School-closing talk turns to junior highs

honestone:

No, I'm not wrong. Just because people are ignorant of how school finance works does not make me wrong. They are closing schools because they want to cut teacher positions and operating costs. Capitol outlay cannot pay teacher salaries, and it can not pay any operating costs--not even the utilities it takes to run that school. Even if they hadn't built the stadiums, it still wouldn't keep any schools open. If you don't like the way school finance works, then write your legislator. I'm all for looking at alternatives to closing a school, but I hear very few viable solutions--only complaining about stadiums. It's time to stop trying to place blame and start working together to save these schools.

February 9, 2010 at 8:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Audit looks at school district consolidation

Let's destroy every small community in western Kansas. Great idea, glad to see our legislators have our best interests at heart.

February 8, 2010 at 5:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School-closing talk turns to junior highs

Can we all make an effort to stop talking about the stadiums? For crying out loud--it's paid for with different money. It's over and done with, let's DROP IT. All the pissing and moaning in the world isn't going to make the sports fields go away. That money couldn't be used for anything else.

This isn't an issue of USD 497 being irresponsible and being in the hole because of foolish spending--it's an issue of having promises made, budgets balanced according to those promises, and then having those promises broken. It's an issue of having schools (potentially) funded at levels from the 1990's. Do you think the school board would be so ignorant as to not have a balanced budget? The state has changed the amount of money it's paying schools mid-year. That once-balanced budget is no longer balanced. If you don't like what's happening, contact your legislator. They are ignoring the pleas of educators--maybe they'll listen to concerned parents and taxpayers.

February 8, 2010 at 5:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School-closing talk turns to junior highs

Putting grades 9 & 10 in a different building than 11 & 12 is not a good idea. There would be all sorts of eligibility hassles for activities and athletics, limited classes for students who excel or students who fall behind (a 12th grader who needs to be in sophomore math, or a 9th grader who should be in calculus, for example), more limited extracurricular opportunities for these kids, not to mention the kids would never grow up. I've heard a lot of arguments about 9th graders shouldn't be exposed to those big, bad seniors, when in reality many of those seniors are positive influences on underclassmen. I teach in a 9-12 high school, and I rely heavily on student leadership. I've found my student leaders (who are almost always juniors and seniors) influence the underclassmen in positive ways, given the right outlet. Kids have to be proud of their school and be proud of what they are doing, and having all four grades together really creates a community and a sense of unity for kids. I think this is a great idea for USD 497, however, it needs to be carefully thought and planned out! Olathe is going to this set-up next year and they took years to plan and alter facilities to handle the incoming students.

February 8, 2010 at 12:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Without cutting teachers, closing schools, school district only half-way to closing budget deficit

multiagelearner:

And how do you propose the Lawrence School District attract those highly-qualified teachers when there is no incentive to work here? There is only so much the individual can do--there has to be opportunities and resources available in order to be successful. This is like any other job--the best workers are attracted to the work environment, benefits, and pay. At this point, there is nothing attractive to the Lawrence Public Schools to those highly sought after teachers. I am certified highly qualified, and I've been teaching four years. If I had the opportunity, I would definitely go to a school district that offered a multitude of staff resources and support, great benefits, a competitive salary, and great facilities over a district that has absolutely nothing to offer me except crowded classrooms and a community that thinks I should work for peanuts and be happy about having a job. Saying the district should get rid of new teachers and learning coaches is ignorant of the situation and the way schools work. Would you take a job in a place that you would be overworked, underpaid, and heavily criticized by community members and parents? No, you wouldn't. Just because we are teachers does not mean that we do not have standards, no mortgages or bills to pay, or families to support. Teachers know when they get their certificate that they aren't going to ever be rich, and most just want to educate kids in a field that they care about. However, that doesn't mean we don't deserve a quality work environment with fair pay.

February 5, 2010 at 8:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal )