Archive for Monday, December 8, 2008

State about 25 percent short in payments to school districts

State Sen. Mark Gilstrap, D-Kansas City, listens as  Delaware Ridge Elementary second-grader Katie Kilmartin presents  reasons why little bluestem should be designated as the official state grass of Kansas. Gilstrap visited the school May 16.

State Sen. Mark Gilstrap, D-Kansas City, listens as Delaware Ridge Elementary second-grader Katie Kilmartin presents reasons why little bluestem should be designated as the official state grass of Kansas. Gilstrap visited the school May 16.

December 8, 2008

Topeka — Public school districts were shortchanged this month because the state doesn’t have enough funds, officials said Monday.

“We do not have enough cash in the bank,” said Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ budget director Duane Goossen.

State tax receipts have dropped below projections, forming a $147 million shortfall in the current fiscal year, which could increase to $1 billion next year.

The state paid the 297 school districts $165 million for the month of December, which was $55 million or 25 percent less than the amount school districts were supposed to receive, officials said.

Goossen said he didn’t know when the state would make up the 25 percent. “I hope that will be soon. That will depend on when the revenue comes in,” he said.

He said the last time the state shorted the school districts was at least seven years ago — during another state budget crisis.

Lawrence school Supt. Randy Weseman said the reduced payment “was a sign of the times.”

He said the local district’s finances should be OK as long as the state pays the remaining funds soon.

Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis said so far school districts have been able to cope with the reduced amount.

School districts across the state are preparing for possible budget cuts when the Legislature starts the 2009 session next month. In addition, social service cuts have already been put in place, and higher education is girding for a round of reductions.


Torch 9 years, 6 months ago I'm guessing all those millions of dollars the supporters of the school bond issue promised us from the State aren't already in our bank account.

Suckers. We're just a bunch of suckers. Thanks Amy.


NanCrisp 9 years, 6 months ago

Why are we hearing what Lawrence thinks about this? How about a local reporter getting some comment from the Baldwin school district? Or are they running for cover because they know we are all just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I.E. - what Torch said.


TobyEbel 9 years, 6 months ago

Torch and Nancy,

You two are being absolutely ridiculous and completely unfair to Mrs. Cleavinger. If I am not mistaken, this particular article in which you have elected to denigrate her has nothing to do with the passing of the bond issue. So, are you just taking any opportunity to get a cheap shot in, anonymously?

I have known Amy for some time now and I can tell you without hesitation that she wants what's best for this community that she chooses to live in and calls home. She has given generously of her time and money to make it a better place, including serving as a public official. I wouldn't be surprised if I heard she no longer wants this kind of attention when she has only tried to do her best for this community. And this is the thanks she gets? Cheap shots?

And for what? Because you don't happen to agree with her on some issues? Since when do we all have to agree in order to act like responsible adults and be respectful of one another and realize that there are many different ways to get things done, and differing opinions are ok?

Frankly, I am ashamed of you Torch. I would much prefer that you take your turn in any capacity serving the public and learn just how difficult some of these tasks are that we expect everyone to do flawlessly. But I suspect you don't have the chutzpah to actually try to do anything productive for this community, other than from behind your keyboard and monitor. Attempting to run decent people out of positions of trust in this community may be why you have so many problems with the leadership in our city and school district. Who would want to take you on when you can so easily stab them in the back with absolutely no risk to yourself whatsoever? I think maybe you are far more part of the problem than those we have in office.

And, for what it's worth, you can thank the overwhelming percentage of Baldwin City residents for the bond passing, not just Amy. I, for one, will say "You're welcome!" right now, because that bond was the best deal this district has ever gotten on anything they have ever purchased, in my opinion.

Toby Ebel


NanCrisp 9 years, 6 months ago


Did I say anything, ANYTHING, about Amy?

My beef is with everyone who voted for this bond issue at this particular time. A couple of years ago, that would have been the time to have this bond issue. Not now. Leading economists are now finally starting to admit that what our country is desperately trying to accomplish here is to head off another Depression. That word is capitalized for a reason.

We are not in a garden variety recession here. There are several phases that we can expect to go through. We are not even halfway through yet. Here is a picture of what we've had and what we can expect over the next 12 months at least:

Widespread banking instability (no matter the cause) Leads to default of loans, dried-up credit market Leads to huge losses on Wall Street Leads to hedge funds scrambling to meet margins Leads to investors pulling out of a too-turbulent market Leads to wild swings in the market and companies losing operating cash Leads to major job losses Leads to companies failing, more job losses Leads to consumers halting spending Leads to more losses on Wall Street, more companies failing, more jobs lost Leads to less and less and less tax revenues for states to fund their programs

It becomes a viscious circle, and nothing that has been done so far is enough to get us out of this repeating cycle. This 25% shortfall is just the first of many. This money will not be paid back next month. Instead, the shortfall will increase.

So, I say Torch is right that we are a bunch of suckers. We got sucked in and I do predict that I will not have to eat these words. It's not about anyone personally, it's about everyone having their heads in the sand. This is more serious than anything any of us have experienced in our lives, except those who were alive in the 1930s (most of whom were children, not adults, so even they wouldn't know how to handle such a crisis.)


TobyEbel 9 years, 6 months ago

My apologies, Nancy, if I incorrectly lumped you in with Torch.


Commenting has been disabled for this item.