Comment history

KU plans to ask state for $30 million to build $75 million medical education building

If they are so separate, then why are KU Athletics staff children eligible for the KU faculty/staff dependent scholarships? These scholarship funds are a limited pool each year - if one student gets it, others get less or nothing at all. Scroll through this list to see how many millionaire coaches signed their daughters up to receive the $1,000 scholarships.

June 14, 2012 at 8:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence tops the country in sports jobs LQ — location quotient

Thanks KU for helping with this #1 ranking!

KU Athletics has over 220 full-time employees, plus paid student workers. Last year's payroll and severance payouts exceeded $30 million last year, according to public records. And KU (not KU athletics) chipped in another $1.5 million to pay for the team physician and maintenance crew of the buildings.

This is an nice investment in the 500+ students who participate in sports at KU.

March 14, 2012 at 9:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Group to discuss closing schools

Because we are now paying attention to contingency funds, the district is stowing away the excess cash at year end in other funds. Millions were added to the USD497 piggy bank by shifting it to other accounts. The ending balances in following funds grew by over $3.7 Million this year: Special ed, at-risk k-12, vocational, federal, activity, textbook, cost of living, professional development, food service, virtual, bilingual, and at risk 4. See CODE 99 fund balances on the district website for beginning and ending fund balances.

More curious is the fact that the district depleted 25% of the general and local option funds ($20million) in a single month at year end. The general fund's total outflows were $63.2 million for the year of which $13.1 million was spent or transferred out in June 2011. The LOB's total outflows for the year were $21.8 Million, of which $6.9 million was moved out in June 2011. The district has posted every month's expenditures except June so we don't know where this $20million went.

September 5, 2011 at 1:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Group to discuss closing schools

The district did not make all the cuts the board voted in 2010 (for the 2010-2011 year) and meanwhile, they managed to add millions to their savings. Again. As far back as the district posts budgets, there hasn't been a year they didn't squirrel away millions in some special fund(s) on the last day of the fiscal year.

Yes, there has been less money sent from Topeka. But we clearly have enough money to keep all the schools open - we paid all the bills and still added to savings last year. This year, we have one fewer school so the savings should be even greater.

Let's be honest about why the consolidation started. The last board simply wanted to build new buildings and they had to justify it to get public support after the last bond debacle. Conveniently, we had a state fiscal mess and someone, in deciding to not let a crisis go to waste, made budget cuts the reason for school closures.

I hope the current board is more candid about the long-range (10 year) strategic plans for our district, including planned capital expenditures.

September 5, 2011 at 9:29 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

First Bell: KU facilitators sign on for consolidation work; rallying support for SRS, then schools?; board member ‘interested’ in consolidation options

"The previous task force concluded, and the previous school board agreed, that consolidating schools would be the best way to redirect funds in such beneficial ways, Sanburn said."

No, the previous task force did not decide that consolidating was the best way to redirect funds in beneficial ways. The task force was not allowed to look at administrative inefficiencies or possible savings from changes at the middle or high schools. Further, the task force was prohibited from including educational outcomes in their decision-making as it was "not one of the task force charges." The group was only allowed to discuss how to save the most at the elementary level by closing schools.

And no surprise - they concluded that closing schools and increasing class sizes saves money. But they never said that closing schools was the BEST way to increase student performance while closing the achievement gap.

August 26, 2011 at 1:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

First Bell: Tickets still available to eat breakfast with David Booth, Coach Bill Self, government leaders; ticket prices rise for high school sports

Sunflower league tix prices are proposed by the schools' athletic directors and approved by the HS principals at a meeting in the summer. What was the Lawrence vote on this?

Also, Shawnee Mission and the Olathe school districts provide free admission to senior citizens who reside in their respective districts. The free admission covers any local HS event - sports, plays, and musical performances. Why can't we?

August 25, 2011 at 7:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

District hopes new teachers ease classroom crunches

Good start. But 30 at Sunflower, 32 at Hillcrest are still too big. This year, we have the funds available - the state is requiring the district to spend down $3 million in contingency savings. And we know they have space - 6th grade moved up leaving empty classrooms.

Research shows that class size matters to student success. Period. Do the right thing, Dr. Doll and bring these class sizes down in elementary this year. There is no greater investment to be made than in our children. The students, parents, and teachers will thank you.

August 19, 2011 at 7:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Task force talks additions, subtractions as it studies future of local elementary schools

See article below in which Finkeldei appeared in court, representing the school district on the expansion of the athletic facilities at LHS.
You can also look through school board minutes. Finkeldei often is listed as attending the executive sessions and is identified as the district's attorney.

I agree that it is not everyone's business where he sends his kids, and that is why I didn't list the school. However, his actions move into public domain when he opts to be part of the public school district only to: 1) receive a paycheck as legal counsel and 2) try to close schools serving at-risk children.

January 18, 2011 at 4:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Task force talks additions, subtractions as it studies future of local elementary schools

Let me get this straight - Finkeldei, who sends his kids to a private Catholic School, joins this task force and recommends closing elementary schools serving at risk children. No credibility!

January 18, 2011 at 7:21 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Subcommittee discusses what model Lawrence school would look like: No portables

But the buildings are being used for other things much more important than our kids' education. For example, Centennial is the storage place for school district furniture and band equipment, a concession stand, Johnson County classes (they pay $1500 rent per year, yes, per year), and LVS administration. Better to cram a few more kids in portables or small classrooms than to forgoe these higher and better uses for school property....

November 2, 2010 at 8:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal )