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Medicaid expansion discussion should be based on reality not promises of "free money" from Washington.


Patrick Parks talks about Medicaid expansion and Obamacare in Kansas
kansaspolicyinstitute.podbean.com
Kansas residents who are already paying more for health insurance will also pay much more to fund an expansion of Medicaid. Patrick Parks, a fiscal policy analyst at the Kansas Policy Institute, talks about research KPI and other organizations have done in...
Fri, 20 Mar 2015 19:05:57 +0000
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Kansas' school finance system does little to serve our children. Instead it focuses on institutions. We need a student-focused, transparent formula that requires the efficient use of taxpayer money.


Legislature Considers Changes to School Funding Formula
kansaspolicyinstitute.podbean.com
Dave Trabert, president of Kansas Policy Institute, talks about the state's K-12 school funding formula. The Kansas Legislature is considering block-grant funding schools for the next two years while they take a deliberative look at rewriting the formula....
Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:10:07 +0000
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Kansas schools on track to receive $6 billion this year, setting a new funding record for the 4th consecutive year.

http://www.kansaspolicy.org/KPIBlog/125226.aspx
Mon, 09 Mar 2015 16:43:11 +0000
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School Board Member Not Being Honest
Posted by Dave Trabert on Sunday, March 18, 2012
A commentary in the Wichita Eagle by USD 259 school board member Connie Dietz attempts to blame Governor Brownback and the current legislature for school closings and is loaded with false information.

It is disingenuous at best to blame school closings on the current governor and legislature when the changes to school funding, which were prompted by a serious recession, began under a previous governor and legislature.

 And the overall impact of the changes has not been even close to those claimed by Ms. Dietz.  Neither state funding nor overall funding have been 'cut back to 1999 levels' and she knows it.  Ms. Dietz is only referencing a piece of state funding.  The truth, as provided by the Kansas Dept. of Education and Wichita financial reports, is that:

 - State support of public education in 1999 was $2.04 billion; this year it is expected to be $3.2 billion.

 - Total taxpayer support increased from $3.2 billion in 1999 to $5.7 billion this year.

 - KSDE online records for individual districts only go back to 2002 but show state aid per-pupil for Wichita was $4,812; last year it was $7,092.
 
- Total taxpayer aid to Wichita schools was $8,393 per-pupil in 2002; last year it was $13,069.

When governments talk about budget cuts, they are most often talking about reducing their plans to spend more rather than actually spending less money.  According to data provided by KSDE, the Wichita district has spent more money every single year.  The pace of the increase certainly slowed in the past few years but they are still spending more money every single year.

Even their current operating expenses have increased.  The first column below shows total spending for USD 259 from the Kansas Comparative Performance and Fiscal System; the second column shows current spending, with all Capital Outlay and Debt Service removed (all figures in millions):

2005   $422.4   $383.4
2006   $468.1   $429.7
2007   $527.1   $471.3
2008   $552.0   $507.6
2009   $573.9   $523.5
2010   $585.5   $524.3
2011   $603.8   $526.9

The recession certainly created a lot of unfortunate challenges for everyone but taxpayers and parents deserve honesty from elected officials, not political rhetoric and false information.
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