Daily Archives: Dec. 12, 2012

Teachers shut out of school task force

Teachers aren’t happy that they weren’t allowed to testify before Gov. Sam Brownback’s task force on school efficiency. The task force is wrapping up its work, and chairman Ken Willard said it didn’t have time to hear from teachers (though he encouraged them to submit written testimony). “It is disappointing when our input is not sought and it isn’t even welcomed in some circumstances,” Karen Godfrey, president of the Kansas-National Education Association, told the Lawrence Journal-World. Union spokesman Mark Desetti complained that no amount of efficiencies “can make up for what has already been cut out of school budgets, and no amount of efficiencies can make up for what is potentially going to be cut as the governor’s tax bill takes effect.”

Shortfall projection not quite as bad as before

Legislative researchers have revised their projection for the budget shortfall facing the state next year, dropping it from $328 million to $295 million. That’s still a huge deficit, particularly when it assumes the state will spend down its cash reserves, but at least the hole isn’t quite as deep. The main reason for the change, Associated Press reported, is that the researchers had improperly included some one-time spending from the current year in their projections.

Public has no idea who Norquist is

Many GOP lawmakers are petrified about defying Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, and his no-tax pledge, yet most Americans have no idea who he is. A new Politico/George Washington University poll found that 61 percent of Americans had never heard of Norquist. Another 15 percent had no opinion of him, while only 8 percent of those surveyed  had a positive view of Norquist.