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In new ad, group backing Brownback praises governor for school bill but doesn't mention repeal of teacher tenure

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A group backing Gov. Sam Brownback churned out a commercial praising Brownback for the new school finance bill, but the ad doesn't mention controversial parts of the bill, including a repeal of job protections for teachers.

The spot sponsored by Road Map Solutions Inc., led by Brownback's longtime political adviser David Kensinger, was running this weekend and cites the bill approved April 6 in the Legislature.

The measure, approved with only Republican votes, was passed after a Kansas Supreme Court ruling that said the Legislature must increase funding to poor schools. But the bill also includes measures opposed by Democrats and some Republicans that would repeal teacher tenure and provide corporate tax breaks for private school scholarships for low-income children.

Brownback is expected to sign the bill into law.

"We got it done," says the announcer on the new ad. The ad says the bill will provide $73 million more for schools and $78 million in property tax relief.

But the ad doesn't mention those education policy changes that have generated criticism.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, the likely Democratic challenger to Brownback, said the repeal of teacher tenure represented "a clear attack" on teachers.

Comments

Seth Amott 8 months, 1 week ago

Also glossed over the "Court Mandated" part of it. It's like me getting sentenced to Community Service for breaking the law, then running ad's about "How much I care about the community, because you know, I was raking leaves and picking up trash.."

Bob Forer 8 months, 1 week ago

Bravo, Seth. A fitting, proper and perfect analogy.

Phillip Chappuie 8 months, 1 week ago

So is this add supposed to be some kind of an excuse or apology? Or just some more misdirection to placate the low information voter? It is fairly clear what happened and the fallout for the perpetrators in not far behind. I predict the little Kingfish will not secure a second term.

Fred Mertz 8 months, 1 week ago

I wasn't sure it the bill was a good thing or not as all I had to rely on was news reports. I am so very thankful for the ad and how it cleared up the issue.

In my heart I thought Sam was a good man who knows what is best for all of us and the ad proves it.

We are lucky to have Sam as our governor and even luckier if we get a second term.

Julius Nolan 8 months, 1 week ago

See your grasp and usage of satire is getting better with every post you make.

Fred Mertz 8 months, 1 week ago

Well thank you. I couldn't keep a straight face while writing it but I managed.

Disappointed that some one who didn't understand satire didn't get their panties in a bunch over it.

Sam Crow 8 months, 1 week ago

I can assure everyone that kids will continue to be educated in Kansas.

In fact, Kansas is late to the party on the issue of tenure for teachers.

A recent PBS story noted the “war being waged across the country” on tenure.

Education Week noted in an article in 2011, a published report by the Education Commission of the States stating 18 states had recently modified tenure laws. To quote from the ECS study, “…an increasing number of states have begun to more significantly rewrite their laws related to teacher tenure.”

Oregon discontinued tenure many years ago, opting instead for two year contracts. Kids still learn to read and write in that liberal state. In fact, many states do not have tenure laws.

Florida eliminated contracts longer than a year.

According to ECS, while neighboring Nebraska does have a tenure provision, Oklahoma does not. Missouri has a tenure provision, Colorado does not.

The ECS database is split into two sections: 1. Teacher tenure/continuing contract provisions and 2. Reasons for termination/dismissal. It should be read by anyone interested in the subject.

Education will continue in Kansas, despite the “sky is falling” ramblings of some.

Julius Nolan 8 months, 1 week ago

Education will continue and soon to fill the teaching positions, only HS Diploma or GED will be needed to meet minimum requirements for Teaching Certificate.

James Howlette 8 months, 1 week ago

Here. I hope this helps.

sat·ire ˈsaˌtīr/Submit noun 1. the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

James Howlette 8 months, 1 week ago

Yes, Kansas is late to the destroying public education party. We didn't have vouchers funding parochial schools or bunches of charters or union busting, and we had a fairly decent pension. That's because, until recently, Kansas may have leaned Republican, but it was of the moderate, reasonable sort that wanted efficient and effective services and saw the value of government done right. Eisenhower Republicans.

No more. The wrecking crew is in town, and they're willing to put riders on must-pass laws in order to get their agenda accomplished.

I find it interesting that your first examples are Oregon and Florida... both of which are states with struggling schools and funding issues.

Sam Crow 8 months, 1 week ago

You lose all believability in your response when you come with an outlandish statement such as "destroying public education".

Oregon and Florida are but two of many states making changes. If I had noted others, you would have objected with those.

James Howlette 8 months, 1 week ago

You've long lost even the appearance of impartiality, which makes your last sentence a bit amusing. You also seem to lack any capacity to catch or understand sarcasm or hyperbole, both of which are keen literary devices much admired here on the Interwebs.

Nonetheless, I wasn't actually being that outlandish. The goal in most of these "reform" efforts is to replace our existing public schools with a Friedman-esque "choice" system that has taxpayer money following students to private, parochial, or the few remaining public schools in a misguided effort to turn education into a faux free market. While proponents think this sort of system would "make public schools stronger," the evidence tells a different story. I'm sure that students will still attend classes, and only a few of them will get caught up in fraudulent for-profit charters like the schools in Florida that are constantly being shut down. I suppose technically that will make public education not "destroyed," but it will also not make it someplace I want to send my kids.

Sam Crow 8 months, 1 week ago

You call me partisan when I note articles and reports from two public education based groups. Education Week is published by the education community for teachers, as is one of their other journals, Teacher.

"The Education Commission of the States was created by states, for states, in 1965. We track state policy trends, translate academic research, provide unbiased advice and create opportunities for state leaders to learn from one another." It is funded by the states. It doesnt make or suggest policy. It simply reports education trends in the states.

You then refer everyone to an obviously left wing web site (alecexposed) to prove your point. It is run by the Center for Media and Democracy which is directed by two people:

First is Executive Director Lisa Graves, who is self described as "a career Democratic Party and left-liberal activist who previously worked for Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)"

The second, Deputy Director Mary Bottari "served as a Press Secretary to Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) in the late 1990s. She also worked for the Ralph Nader-founded advocacy organization Public Citizen on that group’s anti-free trade projects."

ALEC did not push the decisions to eliminate tenure by Oregon, which is one of the most liberal states in the country.

Once again, public education is not being destroyed by modifying tenure for public school teachers.

James Howlette 8 months, 1 week ago

Well, if you think Education Week is a better source, here you go:

ALEC’s own “whack-a-mole” strategy also reveals the group’s ultimate goal. Every gardener who has ever had to deal with a mole knows that the animals undermine and ultimately destroy a garden. ALEC’s positions on various education issues make it clear that the organization seeks to undermine public education by systematically defunding and ultimately destroying public education as we know it.

Steve King 8 months, 1 week ago

The proof Sam is they have been considering it.

Bob Reinsch 8 months, 1 week ago

Anybody want to bet that a significant number of the "low-income children" that benefit from the private school scholarships also excel at sports?

Richard Heckler 8 months, 1 week ago

BEWARE!!!

Meet Aegis Strategic, the latest affiliate of the Koch brothers’ political empire.

The consulting firm plans to handpick local, state, and federal candidates who share the Kochs' free-market, limited-government agenda, and groom them to win elections. "We seek out electable advocates of the freedom and opportunity agenda who will be forceful at both the policy and political levels," the company notes on its website.

Aegis says it can manage every aspect of a campaign, including advertising, direct mail, social media, and fundraising.

Aegis' president is Jeff Crank, a two-time failed Republican congressional candidate who ran the Colorado chapter of Americans for Prosperity and served as the chief operating officer of the national organization. The firm's six-person staff boasts two others with connections to the Kochs.

The group's lead strategist is Karl Crow, a former project coordinator for the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, where he focused "on how political advocates for economic freedom are identified, trained, and promoted," according to his bio on Aegis' website.

Crow, who was scheduled to speak at an invite-only Koch donor summit in 2010 on the subject of voter mobilization, subsequently worked for Themis, the Koch brothers' voter microtargeting operation.

Brad Stevens, the former state director for Americans for Prosperity-Nebraska, is Aegis' director of candidate identification = right wing anti American with a touch of John Birch Society.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/01/koch-brothers-candidate-training-recruiting-aegis-strategic

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/06/10/242334/john-birch-society-celebrates-koch/

Richard Heckler 8 months, 1 week ago

ALEC is a political party run by the Koch brothers’ political empire. It is far more than a PAC.

What the Koch brothers’ political empire has done over a long period of time is eliminate republicans from the republican party to be replaced by electable advocates of the Koch freedom and opportunity agenda who will be forceful at both the policy and political levels.

However to reveal their political aspirations would have doomed the Koch boys,Walton family and such forever. Their master plan has been centered around deception by way of monster misinformation sources. And big lies about anyone running against ALEC Party candidates even if the candidates were republican.

In essence the ALEC Party has been allowed to break the law by over throwing the republican party INSTEAD of applying for party status by way of the ballot system. Laws, regulations,rules and such mean nothing to this group. To them the constitution,bill of rights etc etc etc are nothing but meaningless pieces of paper so I speculate.

United States of ALEC - Bill Moyers http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/27/the_united_states_of_alec_bill

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/12/25/john-stauber-on-the-wall-streets-political-monopoly/

Steve King 8 months, 1 week ago

Keep it up Richard. Keep sounding the alarm!

Leslie Swearingen 8 months, 1 week ago

My thing is that the reportage on this did not see fit to report that tenure includes the right of the teacher to a fair hearing if they are fired. If I had known this one of my comments would have been different.

But, Kansas is a fire at will state.

Richard Heckler 8 months ago

"Road Map Solutions Inc., led by Brownback's longtime political adviser David Kensinger, was running this weekend and cites the bill approved April 6 in the Legislature"

This dude David Kensinger gets around…..

Richard Heckler 8 months ago

David Kensinger is the Founding President of Kensinger & Associates Inc., a governmental affairs consulting firm in Topeka, KS. His firm specializes in legislative lobbying, grassroots advocacy and corporate and non-profit campaign management.

David Kensinger is a 1993 graduate of Williams College [Williamstown, MA], having completed one year of undergraduate study at Oxford University.

From 1994 to 1998, David worked for Sam Brownback in campaign and official roles, serving as Senator Brownback's campaign manager in his 1998 re-election.

From 1999 to 2001, David was the Executive Director of GOPAC, Inc. - the nation's premier training ground for Republican activists and candidates - working under GOPAC's chairman, U.S. Representative David Dreier [R-CA].

In 2001, David returned to Senator Brownback's office, this time as his Chief of Staff. Kensinger & Associates was founded in 2004.

In 2008, David took a leave of absence from his firm to manage Senator Pat Roberts successful re-election campaign.

On Election Night; November 4, 2008 Senator Roberts said the following, "The true Machiavelli of Kansas, David Kensinger, our pitbull without lipstick, whose expertise in this new and very different world of political campaigns is unrivaled. David mounted the parapets, waved the flag, fired the first and last shots and led our troops to victory."

David next embraced the challenge of managing then Senator Sam Brownback’s successful campaign for Governor of Kansas. Governor Brownback chose David to serve as Chief of Staff for his administration.

Richard Heckler 8 months ago

David Kensinger is also associated with the Kansas Club for Growth which is no more than one more right wing political action committee which launders money into anti American causes such as Sam Brownback and likely ALEC.

Also keep a close eye on this organization….. talk about subverting democracy..

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/01/koch-brothers-candidate-training-recruiting-aegis-strategic

Richard Heckler 8 months ago

Sam Brownback is in the process of dismantling public education as we speak. Thousands of teachers will be terminated.

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