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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 6:08:58 AM
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Posted by Todd Davidson on Friday, January 27, 2012

The Bureau of Labor Statistics December jobs report shows Kansas has a lot of ground to cover before private sector employment returns to its 2008 peak. Kansas began 2011 with private sector employment at 93.4% of the 2008 peak and finished 2011 at 94.4%.

Kansas still needs 63,000 jobs, roughly Butler County's population, to reach the 2008 employment high.Under the current scenario Kansas will not likely reach the 2008 peak for years to come. WSU’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research pinned Kansas private sector employment growth at just under 13,000 for 2012.

Aggressive tax reform that puts money back in the hands of hard working Kansans will help speed the recovery.

Posted by Dave Trabert on Monday, January 23, 2012
A recent story in the Wichita Eagle focused on comments from Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, regarding a conflict of interest for members of the House and Senate Tax Committees. After examining data gathered by the Eagle, showing that 20 of the 23 members of the House Taxation Committee and 9 of the 11 member of the Senate Tax Committee have business interests that would be exempted from state income tax under the Brownback plan, Hensley suggested that some of the members should consider recusing themselves from voting on the plan.

 “They certainly ought to at least let the general public and the rest of their colleagues know that they have a conflict of interest,” Hensley said. “We have rules in the Senate that provide for that.

“When a bill hits the floor on final action, you cannot be forced to vote if you have a conflict of interest and you announce that publicly before the vote takes place. It addresses this very kind of thing.”

It’s one thing if a piece of legislation targets a specific industry or employer, but when legislation applies uniformly as in this case, it’s simply not practical to have members of a part-time citizen legislature recuse themselves. And no one knows that better than Senator Hensley, a special education teacher in the Topeka district who routinely introduces and votes on legislation impacting public schools. Senator Hensley obviously believes he has no conflict on education issues, yet he has no problem finding fault with others who do the same as he.

It’s also noteworthy that the
Eagle story failed to mention this obvious conflict.
Posted by Todd Davidson on Monday, January 16, 2012

Here are a couple of maps for Monday, courtesy of our friends over at the Tax Foundation.
This first map shows the percent of income residents are paying to their state and local governments, essentially the price for services in each state.

The map below shows how much money each state has lost due to interstate migration. States, much like Wal-Mart and Target, must deliver services at a greater value than competitors to win over consumers, or residents.

Posted by James Franko on Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Too often in Kansas we talk a lot about how much we spend on K-12 education but not nearly enough time talking about student achievement.

Next week the House Education Committee plans to change that (at least for the day) with a series of hearings on Thursday 19 January.  Never mind the usual hearings of one person standing up and giving a canned speech.  Next week, Rep. Clay Aurand's committee will be having congressional style panels with multiple people testifying at the same time.  Hopefully allowing for a more robust discussion.  Check out the proposed speaker line up below...subject to chance, unfortunately.

9:00 a.m. – The State of Kansas Education
Dave Trabert - President of Kansas Policy Institute
Dr. Janet Barresi - Oklahoma State Commissioner of Education and member of Chiefs for Change
Mark Tallman - Kansas Association of School Boards

10:00 a.m. – Public School Reform
Natise Vogt – Walton (KS) Rural Life Center
Gary Lewis – Maize (KS) Virtual Preparatory School
Peter Groff – Visiting fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Education and the Principal of MCG2 Consulting and the former President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
Susan Patrick – President of International Association For K-12 Online Learning

The hearings will likely be held in the Old Supreme Court Chamber at the Capitol.

After the hearings, Dr. Barresi will present at a public lunch for legislators at the Topeka Capital-Plaza hotel.  More details to come.

Unless we start challenging the status quo, more and more Kansas kids will be left behind their peers.  Hopefully, this is the first step in the right direction.

Posted by Dave Trabert on Monday, January 09, 2012
A recent column by the KC Star’s Steve Rose (available here) tried to make the case that states with no income tax are only able to do so because they have unique revenue sources. Examples he gave included gambling in Nevada, tourism in Florida and oil & gas in Texas, Alaska and other states. Fortunately, Mr. Rose didn’t do his homework.

The key to having a low tax burden and/or no income tax is not access to extra revenue; it's how much you spend. Yes, some states with no income tax have unique revenue opportunities but they could just spend more and have higher taxes like other states. Instead, they’ve figured out that they can have good quality government services AND high job growth by controlling spending and keeping taxes low.

The nine states with no income tax spent $1,767 per resident in 2009 out of their General Fund. That was 27% less than the national average and 21% less than Kansas. If Kansas had spent at the rate of the no-income-tax states, we would have spent $1.1 billion less that year.

KPI compiled research comparing the states with the highest tax burden to those with the lowest tax burdens and also those with no income tax. The low burden states dramatically outperform high burden states on job creation, gross domestic product, wage & salary distribution and domestic migration (U.S. residents moving in and out of states). The states with no income tax tend to do even better.  Check out the facts here at our tax reform page.
Posted by James Franko on Monday, January 09, 2012

Okay, so this doesn't deal specifically with Kansas but it is a pretty good explanation of the work KPI does.

Around the world, the countries that are most economically free enjoy better health, longer life spans, a cleaner environment, and even their least well off populations have more money.  Why should it be any different in Kansas?

The answer - It wouldn't be any different!  The freer Kansans are to provide for themselves and their family, the better off the entire state will be.

Tip 'o the hat to www.EconomicFreedom.org for the video

Posted by James Franko on Monday, January 09, 2012

Welcome to KPI's latest effort to help make Kansas a freer and more prosperous place to live and work.  (Please note the use of the German word for "welcome" because who doesn't appreciate a tip of the hat to the native language of the Austrian School of Economics.)

My name is James Franko (sorry, not the actor but this one) and I'm in charge of making sure we get this blog started off on the right foot.  To that end, our goal is to create a place to discuss the public policy questions facing our state. We believe this can be done in a courteous way that allows for all voices to be heard and respected.

With that in mind, please remember that Kansas Policy Institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and is governed by rules that will prevent any comments, messages, or other content from being posted that;

  • Constitute a communication in support of or in opposition to any candidate for any public office;
  • Electioneering or lobbying communications within the meaning of applicable federal or state law.

Once again, this is to be a place to discuss, and even debate, the policy issues of the day. This does not include personal attacks, vulgarity, offensive content, spam, or links to things directly selling products. However, we gladly encourage you to post links to other blogs, media outlets, or organizations that advance the conversation and make a meaningful contribution. This means we can delete content that;

  • Is abusive, vulgar, offensive, threatening or harassing language, personal attacks of any kind, or offensive terms that target specific individuals or groups;
  • Off-topic comments or comments that promote services or products;
  • Gratuitous links to sites that could be viewed as spam;
  • Personally identifiable information such as social security numbers, addresses, and telephone numbers.

Something appearing on this blog DOES NOT constitute or imply the support or endorsement of said content by KPI, our staff, or board members. We’re trying to create the free flow of ideas and someone posting a study from the Bugs Bunny Institute for Public Policy does not mean KPI is supporting Bugs Bunny or his policy ideas.

We reserve the right, at our absolute discretion, to remove any comments we feel violate the rules outlined above or the spirit of this blog.

Lastly, while we were all riveted by the debates in Washington, D.C. about raising the debt ceiling or extending the payroll tax cut, we'll be focusing on Kansas issues.  There are plenty of other forums to debate the latest news from inside the Beltway and trust you'll find an appropriate place to make your opinion known. So, unless it deals with a direct impact on Kansas policy (e.g., Medicaid, NCLB), personal liberty, or economic freedom we'll leave those federal topics for discussion elsewhere.

Please e-mail me (james.franko@kansaspolicy.org) should you have any questions or concerns.


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