Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Stick your hand back in your pockets, state BOE members

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stick your hand back in your pockets, state BOE members

To the average outsider, or even to the typical Jersey-Shore watching general public, it appears that Kansas is a hot bed of the conservative movement. It’s easy to see why some might get that idea. Kansas boasts the most conservative Congressional delegation and six of six state office holders of the Republican persuasion.
But in a quiet little corner of the political Kansas atmosphere, perhaps the most powerful legislative body in the state is filled with screaming liberals – or at least Big Government, Big Spenders. Already the state spends more than 50 percent of its budget on this governing bodies’ area of oversight.
And yet, it’s not enough.
The bloodsuckers known as the Kansas State Board of Education will not be satisfied until every last dime of state revenue is poured into public schools. Forget paying for roads, public safety or any other possible priority of the state. School administrators are barely scraping by on their six-figure taxpayer-funded salaries. It’s for the children.
Yesterday, the mosquitoes on the state approved a request to seek $450 million additional in state funds for public schools in 2014.
I don’t know how the finances look from high atop a perch in Topeka, but here in “wealthy” Johnson County, my money isn’t going as far. I don’t have an extra two nickels left over each month to stick in my savings account let alone send off to the 6-6-6 so my local district can receive 3 cents of the 10 I sent the capitol.
According to an article in the Kansas City Star, the additional funds identify special education funding and increasing money for teachers’ professional development.
I could possibly get on board with special education funding. Possibly. But no one will ever convince me that spending more for teacher development pays dividends in the classroom. Half of the teachers I know have Master’s Degrees and yet they fail in simple logic when you explain that taxpayers are broke and that by taxing everyone out of existence the schools are slowing killing the geese that lay the golden eggs – you know, businesses that hire people.
Plus, I swear those teacher enrichment programs are nothing but teacher union indoctrination courses that teach how to more effectively whine and manipulate the general public into believing teachers are poorer than church mice.
The last time I checked the average teacher salary in my district was higher than the average salary of those in the U.S. and of those in my district.
Besides, I’ve seen where extra funding for education goes – many times it’s right into the pockets of administrators who take their cut off the top. And there’s no indication that the money that does reach the classroom equates to better educational outcomes.
In light of these simple, simple facts,  you’d think the state board of education – which is comprised of four Democrats and six Republicans – would spend its meetings considering plans (ahem. School vouchers) that would improve the quality of Kansas education.
Instead, they simply stick out their hands and ask for more cash.
Voters deserve the brunt of the blame, of course. Can you, active political reader, name your state board of education representative?
It’s time conservative activists pay better attention to the great rip-off artists running our public schools. That starts at the local level, where it’s very difficult to get conservative board members elected.
There’s room for improvement at the state level as well. Seven members voted to approve the request for an insane amount of additional funds. They should be targeted when they're up for re-election.
In Johnson County, Republicans and conservatives should run, not walk to the polls to elect Steve Roberts to represent District 2 on the state board of education. Because state board races aren’t well covered by the media – or anywhere that I can find that isn’t an arm of the liberal and extreme Kansas National Association of Educators – it’s difficult to say just how conservative Roberts is. But I can virtually guarantee he’s more fiscally conservative than his opponent. It's a start.

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