Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Magic Fairy Sprinkles Hope-y Change Dust at State BOE

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Magic Fairy Sprinkles Hope-y Change Dust at State BOE

Apparently, members of the board Kansas State Board of Education think money grows on some magic tree. On Tuesday, July 12, members voted to seek an increase in state school aid of $900 million. According the Kansas Association of School Board’s newsletter, the state board wanted to “make a statement on suitable funding to the Kansas Supreme Court.”

In case they missed it--are the members products of government schools?-- there is no money tree. Kansas’ money “grows” in the pockets of taxpayers. And by “grows” I mean, we work our tails off to bring home some bacon. At this point, most taxpayers are screaming “Uncle,” because after paying taxes, so many taxes, they’re left with one bacon bit. So, I think it’s important to remind the tax collectors for the KNEA, also known as the Kansas Supreme Court, that every tax increase is a pay cut to taxpayers.

I looked for newspaper, television, stories that covered the July 12 state board of education. Also in the July 12 meeting, the board appointed a 26-member task force to study a Kansas teacher shortage. So, every reporter in Kansas apparently went back to their desks to find people to quote about how teacher salaries are too low, and it appears they all buried the lede--the board is requesting $4,650 in base state aid per pupil, based on the now deceased--may it rest in peace--old school finance formula.

So, there’s a teacher shortage because teachers aren’t making enough money, so the solution is everyone else making less?

In addition to seeking $900 million in additional state aid, board members also approved a $469,000 request for the Children’s Initiative Fund. This fund is pretty much a slush fund for special interest groups. While some of the money goes to children’s programs, a large chunk, $17-$18 million, of it is given out in Early Childhood Block Grants. You can gain some insight about this money here.

But the CIF request still wasn’t enough money to meet the requests board members adopted on Tuesday. They’re also seeking $3 million to restore Mentor Teacher Programs. (We have a mentor program at my job. I’m pretty sure it’s virtually free, but OK, maybe pairing a veteran teacher with a new teacher is more difficult in government schools). Board members would also like $4.25 million for professional development money; $35,000 for agriculture in the classroom programs; $47,000 for basically a teacher scholarship program for National Board Certification; an additional half million for a Pre-K pilot program; $1.45 million for transportation to technical schools; And $625,000 for after school mentoring programs.

For some reason, the board didn’t recommend funding all-day kindergarten. This is baffling. When you’re already demanding billions, what’s another million or so?

Apparently, members of the board of education think there’s a magical fairy who flies around sprinkling cash on the heads of people who act self-righteous.

1 comment:

  1. A careful reading of the report states data shows the reason from teacher shortage is "retirement." The report subjectively offers teacher pay as a "possible" reason for the teacher pipeline being small. The report also states shortage of new teachers is clustered, particularly in poorer districts.