Archive for Wednesday, October 24, 2012

School finance malarkey

October 24, 2012

To the editor,

In his recent letter, State Rep. John Rubin completely misstated the facts about cuts to public education during my legislative term. Those budget cuts were made by Gov. Parkinson as allotments when the Legislature was not in session. I had no way to prevent those cuts, and I did not vote for them.

During Mr. Rubin’s term, he voted to slash state funding. He had a choice between giving large tax breaks to a special few or restoring cuts to education. This illustrates a big difference between us: With a $500 million surplus, Rubin chose to make sure corporations and millionaires received a tax giveaway at the expense of our kids and grandkids. Thanks to Rubin, the state contributes the same to public education as it did 11 years ago.

Mr. Rubin resorts to smoke and mirrors because he knows voters care about what’s happening to our schools. When he says “total per pupil spending this year of $12,656, only $4 less than its all-time high in the 2008-2009 school year,” he fails to acknowledge local support in that total. That means we’ve raised our own property taxes to fill the deficit created by the Legislature. We shouldn’t be forced to make that choice — especially when property taxes have skyrocketed 65 percent in the last decade. Additionally, he jams together three separate budgets: capital funds, which can only be used for building construction and repairs; operating budget, which determines class sizes by limiting the number of teachers a district can hire; and payments to teachers’ retirement accounts.

Mr. Rubin is out of touch with the realities facing our children and teachers today. I’ve been going door-to-door since May and too many parents tell me their kids receive fewer resources in the classroom. I and other parents worry about there being 1,364 fewer teachers, leading to larger class sizes and declining student performance.

I will do a better job ensuring a high-quality education for every Kansas kid and grandkid. My daughter will attend Shawnee Mission public schools, so I have a vested interest in keeping good teachers and schools.

Milack Talia


ShawneeMimi 6 years ago

Over the past year and a half, I have communicated my concerns over education cuts to Mr. Rubin and his responses were rude and condescending. Good schools attract business. Cutting taxes to special interests does not help education. Now it looks like he is creating his own reality and trying to look as if he supports public education in Kansas when that is simply not true. I want my grandchildren to get the excellent public education that my children received in the Shawnee Mission schools in the late 1980s and 1990s. If John Rubin is in Topeka to assist Sam Brownback in implementing his plans, public education budgets will be cut to the bone. The quality of our community, our property values, our future are tied to the quality of our schools. If John Rubin has his way, all of the above will decline.


KsMom 6 years ago

I, too, have begged to differ with Mr. Rubin's version of the facts on public school financing, and he just shook his head at me and kept repeating his "facts". Mr. Rubin doesn't seem to understand that his job title is "representative" and seems more interested in promoting his agenda than making sure the needs of of our school communities are being met.


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