Daily Archives: Aug. 11, 2013

Pompeo aviation bill a model for collaboration

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, is confident that his Small Airplane Revitalization Act – which passed the House unanimously last month – will be approved next month by the Senate and signed soon after by President Obama. The bill, which updates small aircraft certification regulations, is one of few approved by the House this year. A key reason why this bill made it through is that Pompeo worked hard to get input and support from different stakeholders, including government regulators and the Machinists union (which Pompeo praised as being very helpful). Because of this input, the final bill was better than the original draft, Pompeo told The Eagle editorial board. If only such outreach and collaboration were the norm in Congress, rather than a rare exception.

Keep criminal teachers out of classrooms

Unfortunately, south-central Kansas is well-represented on the list of teachers whose licenses could be revoked this week by the Kansas State Board of Education because of criminal convictions, mostly for sexual activity with students. The six teachers include two who taught in the Wichita district, one from Clearwater and one from Cheney. But it’s good to see the state board emphasizing that districts and local prosecutors are obligated to notify the state of such crimes by teachers and school administrators. “This is the new normal,” Cheryl Whelan, general counsel for the State Department of Education, told the Lawrence Journal-World. Consistent reporting is the surest way to prevent such individuals from merely switching to new districts and classrooms.

So they said

“We were just puttering along as a state. We wanted to be better than average.” – Kansas Chamber of Commerce president Mike O’Neal (in photo), touting Kansas’ tax-cutting in the Omaha World-Herald

“Be very cautious. What we have is a self-inflicted budget crisis.” – Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, in the same World-Herald article

“Apparently we’re not teaching the Constitution, which may explain why the attorney general had to ask for $1 million to defend unconstitutional laws.” – Mark Desetti, of the Kansas National Education Association, about the Legislature’s new “Celebrate Freedom Week” mandate for public schools