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"School choice, it seems, should be a no-brainer. Why not give families vouchers, allowing them to make free choices for their children’s education? There’s a reason increasing numbers of inner-city activists in places like Chicago and Washington, D.C., are fighting for charter schools and voucher programs. They know choice would be better for their kids. They know the government has failed them."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/08/14/the_crazy_world_of_public_schools_123654.html


The Crazy World of Public Schools | RealClearPolitics
www.realclearpolitics.com
Are America’s vast, sprawling, powerful government agencies really all that bad? Left-leaning New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, in a recent series of columns and blog posts, has...
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 15:51:55 +0000
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LIKE if you agree with the 80% of Kansans who believe that employees should have the right to decide, without force or penalty, whether to join or leave a labor union. http://www.employeefreedomweek.com/survey-results/


Survey Results | Employee Freedom Week
www.employeefreedomweek.com
National Employee Freedom Week has released a series of scientific surveys to find out how many union members want to leave their union and gauging the public’s support for employee freedom. The results were surprising.
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:16:37 +0000

Kansas school funding has been increasing
www.washingtonpost.com
The Aug. 1 news article “In Kansas, a deep-red ‘experiment,’ ” about Kansas’s tax reform, provided incomplete data on school funding. The base state aid data used to show a decline in school funding r...
Tue, 05 Aug 2014 14:27:30 +0000
Last Refreshed 9/1/2014 6:17:40 PM
KPIBlog
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End the Hypocrisy Over Use of Reserve Balances
Posted by Dave Trabert on Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Have you noticed that some of the same people who say the State should spend its surplus balance have a completely opposite opinion about school districts?

Today’s story in the Topeka Capital-Journal about House Appropriations recommendations on school funding misstates what was actually proposed.  School funding would not be 'cut' in the sense that money is taken away.  As explained today in the Wichita Eagle, the Governor's budget proposed adding $29 million this year and the House Appropriations action is simply eliminating the proposed increase.

The rationale for not increasing funding is that districts already have the money in carryover cash reserves – state and local tax dollars provided in prior years that were not spent.  Legislation passed last year gives districts the authority to transfer up to $154 million to current operations this year and to date, only $24 million of that authority has been exercised.  Even if districts used the entire $154 million, they would still have about $700 million left over, plus another $837 million in Capital Outlay and Debt Service funds.

School districts' balances in their current operating funds have increased 90% over the last six years, going from $458 million to $868 million.  Those balances increased every single year, which means districts didn't spend all of their tax dollars...every single year.

All government entities need some degree of surplus balances but district balances are much larger than state balances.   And not just in total dollars.  The state's goal is to have the statutorily required ending balance equal to 7.5% of General Fund expenditures.  School districts' ending balances in their current operating funds (everything but capital and debt service) represented 11.7% of current expenditures in 2006 and increased to 16.0% by 2011.  The current reserve ratio is somewhere between 16.6% and 18.8%, depending upon which budget figures one uses from KSDE.  Carryover cash reserve balances by district are available on KansasOpenGov.org.

We agree that excess reserves should be used to fund current operations instead of taking more money from taxpayers.  Those who believe the State of Kansas should give some of it's relatively small surplus to school districts should be consistent and call for school districts to tap their own large reserves instead of asking taxpayers for more money.

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