Archive for Friday, January 14, 2011

Governor’s new budget cuts per-pupil state aid to schools

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback shakes hands with onlookers as he leaves the House chambers after his State Of State address, on Wednesday January 12, 2011.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback shakes hands with onlookers as he leaves the House chambers after his State Of State address, on Wednesday January 12, 2011.

January 14, 2011

— Gov. Sam Brownback, who promised to protect public schools during his campaign for office, has proposed a budget that would cut school funding this year and next year.

“The economic stagnation has put state revenue into a decline for a fourth year in a row and required me to make difficult decisions in order to maintain the most essential programs of the state at acceptable levels of funding,” said Brownback, a Republican who was sworn into office this week.

Democrats blasted Brownback’s plan. In a joint statement Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, and House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said, “The budget proposal (Brownback) presented today will force school boards all across Kansas to close schools, lay off teachers and increase class sizes.”

Brownback’s policy director Landon Fulmer delivered the proposed spending plan to legislators. “The fact of the matter is, we just don’t have the money,” Fulmer told the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Fulmer introduced legislation to carry out the cuts.

The Legislature will now work on the budget recommendations.

The state faces an estimated $550 million revenue shortfall, primarily because of expiring federal stimulus funds, much of which have been used to prop up school funding.

But with those federal dollars disappearing next year, Brownback has decided not to replace them with state funds.

He has proposed cutting base state aid from $4,012 per student to $3,780 per student, a drop of $232 per student or 5.8 percent. If approved by the Legislature, base state aid would be at its lowest level since 1999-2000.

“That’s going to translate into a lot of teachers losing their jobs,” said Sen. John Vratil, R-Leawood.

Although base state aid will decrease, total state funding for school districts will increase $129 million, Brownback’s administration said. But that figure includes funding to cover obligations for retirement, special education and debt payments on capital projects.

School finance experts say the base state aid figure is the one that shows true spending in the classroom because that is the money that goes to teachers’ salaries.

“There’s no doubt in my mind if these proposed reductions actually occur, our public education system in Kansas will be of lesser quality,” Vratil said.

Brownback’s budget would also cut the Early Childhood Head Start Program by $3.5 million and grants to community mental health centers by $10 million. It would also cut the state’s Public Broadcasting grant of $1.6 million.

The budget includes a $5 million appropriation to the Kansas University Medical Center for cancer research, but requires a $5 million match from KU.

The budget also proposes eliminating 2,000 unfilled positions and several agency eliminations and reorganizations.

Some of the budget recommendations include:

• Eliminating state funding of the Kansas Arts Commission.

• Consolidating the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation (KTEC) into the Kansas Department of Commerce.

• Merging the Kansas Health Policy Authority into the Division of Health of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

• Abolishing the Kansas Parole Board and transferring those duties to the Department of Corrections.

• Merging the Animal Health Department, State Conservation Commission and Agriculture Marketing Program into the Department of Agriculture.

• Moving the Travel and Tourism Program out of the Department of Commerce and into the Department of Wildlife and Parks.

• Abolishing Kansas Inc., an economic development agency.

• Shutting down the state hospital for developmentally disabled Kansans by 2014. The Kansas Neurological Institute is located in Topeka.

Comments

Julie Craig 3 years, 3 months ago

Saw this coming... The school districts have their budgets already mapped out with the state promising to fund at a certain rate. Now the new Mr Slick/Stepping Stone to National Office is proposing to cut budgets by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Time to make it known to our representatives that we are NOT ok with this. Neither political party should be supporting a decision to cut more funds from public schools, babies, and the mentally ill. How about some cuts at the salaries paid to the governor, his staff, etc? How about raising the top income tax bracket rates? How about getting rid of some of the tax exemptions?

0

oscar 3 years, 3 months ago

This is good news. i never got a thing from school, it is a total waste of my time and for most of us in baldwin. keep cutting shcool budget and lower taxes, that is what will help most citizen. WE THE PEOPLE support governer Bownback! socialites can all move to anyplace they like.

0

Highstreet 3 years, 3 months ago

"This is good news. i never got a thing from school..."

Obviously, it doesn't bother you to wake up dumb every single day. Enjoy!

0

oscar 3 years, 3 months ago

tipical liberal response. I am not dumb as you think and i love freedome and this country (we the people) more than you ever will! your the dumn person here. go back to wherever you come from highstreet.

0

Highstreet 3 years, 3 months ago

" go back to wherever you come from highstreet."

ive lived hear 60 yers, dipstick. I'm gettin' dumner an dumner an if my iq drops another 80 points i may make yu my frend, heck you mite be one a muh cuzzins. See.

0

oscar 3 years, 3 months ago

just because you graduated high school does not make you smarter than me. I am smart enough to know rite and wrong. You sir are an idiot, I think.

0

Nathaniel Johnson 3 years, 3 months ago

Highstreet

I believe that "Oscar" is phony identity created to prove the thinking that conservative beliefs are part and parcel with ignorance and pratting. Consider the obvious irony in "his" posts. The other possibility is that "Oscar" is a young boy living in a household dominated by an angry man consumed by anti-government rhetoric. Whether a clever trick or a simple youth, "Oscar" is an obvious liability to those that sincerely believe in a more limited form of government.

Nathaniel Johnson gruyere.emmentaler@gmail.com

0

Highstreet 3 years, 3 months ago

Eh, sure, I figured that out. I threw that last one out for fun. Each blog board is different and I don't waste much time figuring out who is what. Next.

0

Torch 3 years, 3 months ago

I think this is good.

Cut the fat.

0

Nathaniel Johnson 3 years, 3 months ago

Most of these cuts seem to be viable and this is the correct time to be making these cuts. The economy is at the beginning of a major growth period and the current atmosphere of austerity will soon be gone. Economists once hailed the end of the traditional business cycle as a positive event. They were wrong on both ends. The traditional cycle is still in effect and attempting to eliminate it is sort of like eliminating seasons. Complex systems have rhythms that exist as part of their internal regulation. The idea works like this: During growth periods diversity increases, that diversity is cut into during periods of decline. In the business cycle this means that in periods of growth, more new companies come into being. During the periods of decline, the weakest (or most vulnerable) companies fail. This over-simplifies the model of course but it should be intuitively obvious that we need both sides of the cycle.

There are many things that effect the natural rhythms of economies. Without regulation, an economy is likely to cycle in a more extreme manner. The latter part of the 19th and early part of the 20th century saw the American economy repeatedly fall into and out of depression (as opposed to recession). Regulations and entitlement programs enacted during FDR's administration limited the damage these deep peeks and steep valleys caused. The lionization of these programs have been the mainstay of the conservative movement and provided the icons for the liberal movement ever since. Of course, these policies did not come without a price tag. The job of the electorate and thus elected officials is to weigh the price tag of a programs against its benefits to our country/society. The business cycle provides a means for legislators to make theses decisions with immediate political justification.

Nathaniel Johnson gruyere.emmentaler@gamil.com

0

ksrush 3 years, 3 months ago

Dont think I would hold my breath on the " recovery ". Barry O and the rest of the libs in Washington are still bent on running the country into the ground. Conservatives are going to have a full time job on their hands straightening out the mess.

0

Highstreet 3 years, 3 months ago

"Conservatives are going to have a full time job on their hands straightening out the mess." Shoot, they caused it. You'd think they'd be experts at it. It all happened in the last two years, right? Riigghht.

0

ksrush 3 years, 3 months ago

That's why they were overwhelmingly re-elected this go round. Thank goodness for common sense. But to be honest Barry, Nacy and Harry had alot to do with it.

0

Nathaniel Johnson 3 years, 3 months ago

If I suggested at any point that I am either conservative or liberal in any sense then I apologize. The problems with our government is that power is so equally divided between two collectives that no one party can solve any problems. There has not been an effective multi-term presidency since Eisenhower, though I would grant that both Carter and Bush Sr. did what was necessary and lost their second terms because of it. I think anyone who feels that the current economic conditions are not directly and completely the result of the Bush Jr administration is unfamiliar with the events surrounding them. The beginning of this recession began in December 2007. Unconstrained spending of the last ten years in the form of military spending on two unfunded wars and the largest single increase in entitlement spending since the 60s (perhaps even the New Deal depending on how you measure the costs) in the form of the Medicare Prescription program are the real culprits in our current deficit crisis. I have read that extremely relaxed monetary policy by the federal reserve helped create the real estate bubble which of course resulted in a collapse and the loss of a great deal of paper wealth. Boom bust cycle per my previous post due to lax regulation.

The past congress led by Pelosi and Reed are just as much to blame for the current vicious partisan environment. The Health Care Reform act is essentially a uselessly expensive piece of legislation that makes no real change in the health care problems we are facing today while containing a provision that clearly violates multiple constitutional rights. The courts will have that sorted soon enough. Had the Democratic leadership included the top priorities of Republicans, namely tort reform, the bill might not have been a total fiasco. As such it further polarized the government.

As for my prediction that we are on a the verge of a large growth period, I would say that these growth periods occur when either new items are introduced into the consumer market place or when and existing technology is replaced. Both of these things are happening in large parts of the economy - automobiles, power generation and in so-called green construction.

I have a friend who told me once that the politics is just like the weather, only man-made. When you take off your team colors and study it simply as a process, distancing yourself from the "Hurray for our team" attitude, the picture that emerges is both comic and tragic and I guess most sadly, pathetic. Until you do that, turning off FOX, MSNBC and The Daily Show, you will be caught in a whirlpool of emotion. News sources do exist that offer reasonably unbiased or at least intelligent coverage of the news. I suggest the following sites.

http://www.economist.com/ http://www.csmonitor.com/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/ http://www.nytimes.com/

Nathaniel Johnson gruyere.emmentaler @gmail.com

0

BaldwinDad 3 years, 3 months ago

I can't believe you included the NY Times.....I mean lets be honest they are part of the same wrong headed thinking that has lead this country into the economic quagmire we are in today.

The problem with our Govt and allot of these sites you listed is they are still supporting the Bankers that run the Federal Reserve with their boom and bust cycle of fake wealth creation.

I do not foresee any recovery but an extended depression, ending with the economic collapse of the dollar.

0

sparky 3 years, 3 months ago

So much for the "re-allocation of funds" from closing the two schools. This will pretty much expend most of those "savings."

0

Nathaniel Johnson 3 years, 3 months ago

The closing of those schools was in anticipation of this year's lower FTE (per-pupil) funding. It was not to save money for some arbitrary purpose but instead in anticipation of the lower revenue.

0

BaldwinDad 3 years, 3 months ago

Actually the estimates that Mr. Dorathy were using was not accounting for any lowering of the per student funding.

So there will have to be even more cuts to next years budgets.

0

Julie Craig 3 years, 3 months ago

The schools won't close until next year. These proposed cuts would affect the current year budget. I guess all of you thinking this is a good thing should be our school board members. Maybe you can figure out how to cut costs from a budget that is already in place with the majority of payroll on contracts for the entire year.

0

NanCrisp 3 years, 3 months ago

Welcome to the real world of business. Business owners have been dealing with this exact scenario for a few years now. No one wants to reduce their business or layoff their workers. But you can either do it intelligently and with planning, or it can be done for you in the form of insolvency.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.