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"It will take a long time to wade through the 139-page ruling, but even a cursory examination makes it clear that the three-judge panel didn’t let the facts get in the way of their decision. Instead, they made what amounts to a political decision that says the Legislature must increase funding by at least $548 million to meet the Rose standards even though school districts don’t know how to measure those standards." http://kansaspolicy.org/KPIBlog/124008.aspx


Kansas school funding decision ignores facts in arriving at a political decision
www.kansaspolicy.org
Today’s ruling on Gannon v. State of Kansas in which the Shawnee County District Court declared school funding to be unconstitutionally low ignores a long list of facts that disprove school districts’ contentions.  The three-judge panel ma
Wed, 31 Dec 2014 17:14:11 +0000
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KPI president Dave Trabert on today's ruling in the on-going school finance litigation, "This ruling willfully ignores a long list of facts that disprove school districts' contentions. The judges may even have ignored the State Supreme Court's order that adequacy is to be determined on whether outcomes - as defined by the Rose capacities - are being met. The judges essentially dusted off their original decision that was rejected by the Supreme Court and added some new legal jargon attempting to justify their original action in arriving at what is little more than a political decision."

Stay tuned for more analysis...
Tue, 30 Dec 2014 20:26:35 +0000
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Gov't can provide quality service while saving taxpayers money.


A plan for balancing the Kansas state budget

Kansas Policy Institute President Dave Trabert presents KPI's plan to balance the state's budget without service reductions or tax increases. Trabert spoke a...
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:34:52 +0000
Last Refreshed 1/25/2015 1:14:49 AM
Commentary
Being rich or poor state is a matter of choice

The fourth edition of "Rich States, Poor States," recently published by the American Legislative Exchange Council, is an excellent review of economic competitiveness among the states. Co-authors Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore and Jonathan Williams use statistical analysis and anecdotal information to show that states with low tax burdens and regulatory hurdles have the best record of job creation and personal income growth.

State rankings are based on 15 criteria, including marginal income-tax rates, personal income-tax progressivity, the burden imposed by other taxes, the existence of a tax or expenditure limitation and a variety of legal and other economic policies. The complete list is available with a free download of the book at www.alec.org.

Williams says that capital goes where it's wanted, and the evidence certainly bears that out. But not everyone agrees.

Some critics say taxes and regulation have nothing to do with jobs and people migrating to low-burden states, saying it is simply weather-related. Certainly some of the best-performing states, such as Florida, have good weather, but other top-ranked states such as Utah and North Dakota aren't known for great weather.

Other critics believe that investment in infrastructure and equipment, labor efficiency, education and innovation are drivers of job creation and economic prosperity. Of course, by "investment" they mean government spending.

Having a good highway system and an educated workforce is important, but the measurement is not based on how much is spent. The test is whether a good highway system exists or whether the workers have the technical skills to be productive employees.

Fortunately, Kansas has a great highway system and a skilled workforce. But so do many other states. What those states don't have is an uncompetitive tax structure.

That's the point of "Rich States, Poor States." It's not about being competitive on a few items; you have to be competitive on everything.

There are a lot of states with great weather and good highways, and that invest a lot of money in education and innovation. But they also have lost jobs and have substandard growth in population and personal income.

"Rich States, Poor States" is loaded with good policy advice, but perhaps the greatest takeaway is that economic prosperity is a matter of choice. Some states choose to create an environment that encourages economic activity; others choose to put a higher value on government growth, which discourages job creation.

Kansas can't be complacent with its middling rank. "We're No. 27" isn't much of a slogan. In fact, Kansas is the only state whose average 2011 private-sector employment level is lower than its 2010 average.

We can either choose to continue the tax-and-spend mentality that continues to drive jobs away or we can choose to become prosperous.

View full article at The Wichita Eagle. Click here