Daily Archives: March 23, 2014

Open thread (March 23)

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USD 259 might not get much help from funding fix

schoolmoneyUnless the Legislature changes the rules somehow, many school districts, including Wichita, won’t get much budget help even if the state complies with the Kansas Supreme Court order to equalize school funding. That’s because most of the increased state funding would go to supplement local option budgets. And because the LOB total is capped, all that would change is how this total is divided between the state and districts. So, for example, if the state fully funded its share of Wichita’s LOB next fiscal year, it would pay an additional $11.9 million, according to Kansas State Department of Education estimates. But because Wichita’s LOB is at the cap and can’t increase, Wichita would have to reduce its local property taxes by $11.9 million to offset the state money. That’s good for homeowners but doesn’t help USD 259 pay its bills. Wichita would received $3.5 million in capital outlay aid if the state equalized that funding, and it has the potential to increase that budget. But that is a relatively small funding increase for a district Wichita’s size, and the money could be used only on capital projects, not for teacher salaries.

Koch-backed AFP is dominating campaign spending

money-bagThe Koch brothers-backed Americans for Properity is “a dominant force in the 2014 midterm elections, spending up to 10 times as much as any major outside Democratic group so far,” the New York Times reported. The group has already spent more than $30 million in at least eight states, and it now has more than 200 full-time paid staff members in field offices in at least 32 states. The group tried to learn from its defeats in the 2012 elections by pouring money and research into grassroots organizing. It also is spending heavily on testimonial-style advertising, primarily against Obamacare. Fact-check organizations have criticized the accuracy of the ads, and Democrats have complained that some of the spots feature actors, not “real people.” But, the Times reported, “Americans for Prosperity has not retreated.”

So they said

kobach“Beating the #Obama administration one lawsuit at a time.” – Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (in photo), tweeting about his win in federal court in Wichita defending the Kansas and Arizona proof-of-citizenship voter laws

“#ObamaScare is just like a screaming four-year-old no one wants to #play with.” – U.S. Rep Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, on Twitter

“If you don’t pay taxes, don’t expect stuff. And by the way, if you don’t pay taxes and don’t vote, don’t expect anybody to pay any attention to your complaining.” – Rep. Russ Jennings, R-Lakin, talking about the state’s coming budget problems at a Garden City legislative forum

“For those children that do slide by and do not get the benefit of financial literacy training, we set them up on a glide path straight to jail, prison and possibly worse.” – Rep. John Bradford, R-Lansing, before the House passed a bill encouraging such training

“I think I’ve just heard it all now: If you don’t have financial literacy, you’re going to jail.” – Rep. Tom Burroughs, D-Kansas City, in response

“If we’re going to make kids do something, let’s make kids do something that really is good.” – Rep. Ward Cassidy, R-St. Francis, on his amendment adding handshake training to the financial literacy bill