“I think on both of these issues we need to have discussion and input from providers, advocates and citizens in the community. And it shouldn’t fall to any one person. And this is in no way a slight to the governor. It wouldn’t matter to me if we had God himself as governor. I think this is under the purview of the General Assembly.” –Sen. Julie Denton, R-Jefferson, on today’s 7-3 vote by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee to require the approval of legislators for Kentucky to expand Medicaid or proceed with the state’s planned health-insurance exchange mandate by Obamacare.
The teachers unions and their fellow travelers claim that one reason charter schools outperform traditional schools is because charter schools expel students more frequently.
Well, new data from Education Week puts that urban legend out to pasture.
EdWeek just analyzed recent data from the US Department of Education and published the following:
“The Education Week analysis of federal data found that charter schools across the country did not expel students at a rate higher than that of regular public schools. Both charter and noncharter schools expelled far fewer than 1 percent of their students. The data also showed that the regular public schools suspended students—a practice that research shows can put students on the path to dropping out of school—at a higher rate, 6 percent, than charters, at 4 percent.”
To be sure, this was not true in every city examined, but overall it is clear that blanket claims from charter enemies about excessive expulsions simply are not supported by actual data.
I can’t think of one.
Bluegrass Institute president Jim Waters will be speaking at the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday, February 27 at 2 p.m. at a rally sponsored by the Northern Kentucky Tea Party. Other speakers will include Covington City Commissioner Steve Frank, who will talk about the threat faced by local communities because of pension crises.
If politicians enriching themselves behind closed doors on the backs of Kentucky’s taxpayers bothers you, make sure you attend and speak out!
Since Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday unleashed a Tsunami with his recent remarks that performance in Jefferson County’s lowest-performing schools amounted to “educational genocide,” uncomfortable facts about Louisville’s long-term, Persistently Low-Achieving Schools (PLAs) are finally getting attention.
Sadly, the Jefferson County school board quickly started their all-to-familiar denial dance, trying to downplay the fact that we’ve already put up with a trail of tears of over 22 years of failed promises in these schools since KERA’s enactment way back in 1990. Included, as usual, in that denial dance is the often-heard charge that parents of students in the low-performing schools don’t care.
Well, here’s a big surprise: data from Kentucky’s new Unbridled Learning education accountability program show that, on average, PLAs high school parents attended more parent/teacher conferences in the 2011-12 school year than did parents from the other high schools in Louisville.
That goes counter to a major drumbeat from the Jefferson County denial dance.
Don’t believe it? Click the read more link to see the details.
In last week’s Bluegrass Beacon column – authored by our very own Jim Waters, President of the Bluegrass Institute – Waters argues against the sort of nanny-state policies which would keep low-skilled workers from accepting any wage they deem worthwhile for employment, and which would raise the tax burden ever higher on Kentucky’s most productive citizens.
While Kentucky legislators are contemplating such proposals in this year’s legislative session, a new report from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) offers further evidence against them which backs Waters’ sentiments.
According to the ALEC report, called “Tax Myths Debunked,” even if the feds were to raise taxes on the top ten percent of income earners by a whopping ten percent, the increase in revenue would just barely cover one year’s worth of servicing U.S. debt – assuming bondholders don’t up their required return on investment for our ever-increasing U.S. debt problem.
The report debunks the myth that raising taxes on the rich by ten percent would not harm the economy, in no uncertain terms:
Taxing the incomes of the top 1 percent of taxpayers at this rate would yield only $93.8 billion. These are all taxpayers with incomes above $380,000 or so. Taxing the incomes of the top 5 percent of taxpayers would yield about $180 billion. This would require a tax on all incomes over about $150,000 per year. Taxing those in the top 10 percent of the income distribution at the same rate would raise only $340 billion. This would require bringing the taxable income threshold to about $110,000.
We could apply the same math that ALEC used for taxpayers nationwide to Kentucky taxpayers. If we take the population of the top one percent of Kentucky income earners to be 27,640 (data gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau), and this group’s average income per capita to be $759,000 (as per the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy’s report: “Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States”), then raising income tax rates by ten percent on Kentucky’s most productive group would result in an increase in tax revenue of $2 billion.
To put this in perspective, this would cover just over 3% of Kentucky’s total state debt when including outstanding official debt and Kentucky’s $30 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. Clearly, raising taxes on the rich isn’t the cure-all that tax-hawks claim, especially when considering the disincentives and emigration affects such tax increases encourage.
The Courier-Journal is running a poll on whether Kentucky should have public charter schools. When I checked at 2:50 pm on February 19th, the results were 64 percent in favor, 26 percent opposed and nine percent saying they didn’t know enough to say. 2,056 people had voted.