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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 8/20/2014 9:17:39 PM
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Posted by Todd Davidson on Monday, October 29, 2012
10.4% of Kansas' labor is under-utilized according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics U-6 measure. This number includes 156,300 unemployed, marginally attached, or involuntary part-time workers.

(Data was provided to KPI from the BLS via email on 10/29/2012)

The Wall Street Journal’s Ben Casselman explains the U-6:

The official unemployment rate uses a fairly narrow definition of “unemployed,” looking only at people who are actively looking for work. But the Labor Department also publishes a range of other rates using different definitions. The broadest and best known alternate rate, known by its Labor Department designation, U-6, includes people who want to work but aren’t actively looking and also people who are working part-time because they can’t find full-time jobs. As of September, the national U-6 rate stands at 14.7%.

More recently, the Labor Department has begun publishing similar data for states. The numbers are released quarterly on a four-quarter rolling average, so they aren’t as up to date as the state unemployment figures that are released each month. Still, they give a window into state labor markets. 

Posted by Todd Davidson on Friday, October 19, 2012

The Kansas Department of Labor just announced the September unemployment rate was 5.9%.  Nearly a full percentage point below the September 2011 rate of 6.7%.

A closer look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics household survey shows that the drop did not come from higher employment.  7,819 fewer Kansans were employed in September 2012 than in September 2011.  The unemployment rate is lower because over 12,000 unemployed Kansans dropped out of the labor force over the last year.

  


 

Posted by Todd Davidson on Thursday, October 11, 2012

New analysis from Kansas Policy Institute puts Kansas’ general fund spending in perspective. Using data from the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) and the Census Bureau, KPI has calculated general fund spending per-resident for all 50 states.

The spending data demonstrates the key to a pro-growth tax policy is low spending.
  • Kansas would have spent $1.2 billion less if spending were at the same level as the average state without an income tax.
  • Kansas spent a quarter more than the top ten states in the Tax Foundation's State Business Tax Climate Index.
  • Kansas spent 24% more than the ten highest ranked states in ALEC's Rich State Poor States.

Posted by Todd Davidson on Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Tax Foundation released the 2013 State Business Tax Climate Index, ranking Kansas 26th in the country. With significant tax relief coming into effect January 1, 2013 Kansas may finally break from the middle of the pack and be better positioned to attract and retain businesses.

The 2013 State Business Tax Climate Index looks at state tax law as it stood on July 1, 2012. Kansas's recently passed tax reductions do not take effect until 2013 and thus were not included in the analysis. However, they will likely improve the state's score and rank in future years. ~ Joseph Henchman, Coauthor of the 2013 State Business Tax Climate Index 

The Tax Foundation report did mention Kansas’ recent tax reforms (pg 54):

In May 2012, Kansas enacted significant tax changes that will take effect in 2013. The existing three-bracket income tax with a top rate of 6.45 percent will become a two-bracket income tax with a top rate of 4.9 percent. The standard deduction is doubled to $9,000; some itemized deductions are eliminated; and non-wage income from sole proprietors, partnerships, and S corporations is exempted from tax. These changes, on net, will improve Kansas’s score on individual income tax.

State Business Tax Climate Index

Posted by Todd Davidson on Friday, October 05, 2012
A compilation of each school district’s 2012 spending is now available on KansasOpenGov.org. The downloadable summary breaks out 2011 and 2012 spending on accounts titled Instruction, Capital, Debt and Other Current for every district in the state of Kansas.

In 2012 statewide spending on schools increased $195,247,583.  That amounts to a 3.5% increase and breaks out as follows:

  • Instruction spending statewide increased $85,591,054 or 2.8%
  • *Other Current Spending increased $58,508,762 or 3.1%
  • Capital expenditures increased $39,916,386 or 23.7%
  • Spending on Debt increased $11,231,381 or 2.5%

The information was compiled from each districts’ Budget at a Glance available on the KSDE website. 

*(Other current is comprised of Student and Instructional Support, General Administration, School Administration, Operations and Maintenance as well as Other Costs.)


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