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Dave_Trabert (Dave Trabert)

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Lawrence would lose $1.7 million from school finance changes

Having examined the virtual spending and aid of every district, I can assure you that virtual school is not a 'cash cow.' There was less than $1 million difference between virtual spending and virtual weighting aid transferred last year, and some districts that received aid didn't record any expense. Since they have virtual students, it seems that those districts didn't do their accounting properly.

April 15, 2014 at 4:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence would lose $1.7 million from school finance changes

So you still have no comment about or dispute with the facts I shared that come directly from the Lawrence financial records?

April 15, 2014 at 11:02 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence would lose $1.7 million from school finance changes

Fair enough. Lawrence may be losing money but the data shows that Lawrence could easily operate without that $1.7 million. Since 2005, Lawrence increased operating cash reserves from $5.3 million to $39.3 million. That $34 million increases represents tax dollars intended for education that were used to increase cash reserves.

To this day, not a single superintendent, legislator, policy analyst and certainly no judge knows what schools need to achieve required outcomes while also making efficient use of taxpayer money. No such analysis has ever been conducted in Kansas. We do know, however, that every Legislative Post Audit study on school efficiency has found that districts are not operating efficiently.

Accusations about KPI efforts are not true. We report on the facts of school spending, money used to increase cash reserves and the ability to operate more efficiently but that is not about starving education...it's simply providing facts.

We also report the truth on student achievement. Mr. Plinsky has undoubtedly been told that the education system 'works well' but even KSDE Commissioner Diane DeBacker now admits to what we've been reporting for several years - there is a large and growing achievement gap for about half of the students in Kansas. Those who are considered low income based on eligibility for free and reduced lunch are several years' worth of learning behind. And the gap has gotten worse even though At Risk funding increased from $52 million to $385 million over the last eight years.

We do NOT not recommend spending money on children, the impoverished, etc. as Mr. Plinsky claims. We recommend that all tax dollars be spent efficiently and effectively. It's a shame that anything other than 'just spend more' is portrayed as wanting to de-fund something.

April 15, 2014 at 11 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence would lose $1.7 million from school finance changes

Typcial ad hominem from Mr. Howlette. Note the absence of any comment on the facts presented.

April 15, 2014 at 9:06 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence would lose $1.7 million from school finance changes

USD 497 spending information on file at KSDE shows that Lawrence spent $5,316,576 on Virtual Education in 2013, including $405,638 for Administration. The district transferred $5,772,736 from its General Fund to the Virtual Fund for Virtual Aid, which more than covered all of its costs. No money was transferred for LOB. Provided that USD 497 recorded Virtual Education spending in accordance with the KSDE Accounting Handbook, LOB money for virtual students was not needed to cover any virtual costs and appears to have been spent on something else.

Spending and aid data comes from the KSDE Comparative Performance and Fiscal System.

April 15, 2014 at 6:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas teachers vow to fight for rights

KPERS benefits earned cannot be taken away. Ending due process has nothing to do with paying off unfunded liabilities.

April 9, 2014 at 7:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

House, Senate pass school finance bill; awaiting Brownback's signature

How does this plan 'cripple' public schools? The maximum allowance is $10 million in tax credits. School districts spend almost $6 billion and their costs will decline if some students take advantage of the scholarships.

FYI, the point of all this to give low income students in the state's lowest performing schools an option to go where their parents believe is best for them.

April 7, 2014 at 5:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

House, Senate pass school finance bill; awaiting Brownback's signature

There is nothing about the tax credit scholarship program that violates the State Constitution. Article 6(c) says "No religious sect or sects shall control any part of the public educational funds." No religious sect or sects will control any part of public education funds under this Act. The control is exercised by parents.

Your assumptions about the views of individual legislators and the Legislature in general toward public education do not represent reality. I've been in many discussions this session and over the years and have never heard anything of the nature you claim.

By the way, the number of classroom teachers is 4.5% higher now than in 2005, while the number of students is only 3.8% higher. Total school employment is 8.6% higher. The pupil / classroom teacher ratio has fallen from 16.4 in 1993 to 15.4 now. I'm not suggesting that that is the same as class size, but if class size is increasing while the pupil / teacher ration is falling...you have a variety of management problems.

April 7, 2014 at 3:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Private health clubs get property tax exemption under Senate amendment

Exempting health clubs is bad public policy. Senator Hensley cited this in his opposition to the amendment http://bit.ly/1lzpkHc

April 5, 2014 at 10:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: LOB lifeline

Hey, thanks for confirming that the potential for increased spending was the trigger for Moody's decision.

By the way, you aren't fooling anyone by continuing to have no factual criticism of the information I posted. Ad hominems might make you feel better but they don't fool informed people.

March 16, 2014 at 8:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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