Leftist Washington politicians may ”gag” the truth, but it will be taxpayers who choke if the government succeeds in taking over the health-care system.
Click here to read the entire column.
The Louisville Courier-Journal has been very slow to recognize education problems in that city. Now, however, it looks like the message is finally starting to seep through as the paper admits to the “big picture of the faltering performance of Jefferson County Public Schools in the latest round of statewide student testing.”
Maybe the folks at the paper will start to be more receptive to the idea that Louisville could use some good charter schools to help spur the regular public school system into some really effective changes for kids.
We do need to mention a testing disclaimer which so far the Courier hasn’t discussed. The 2009 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) results are in a state of limbo right now because some obviously incorrect student counts crept into the 2009 data.
No-one knows at this point if many schools NCLB scores might change as a result of the errors, and the department of education says it will take months to sort everything out. I don’t think a huge number of Louisville schools will see large enough score changes to get out of NCLB “hot water,” but we won’t know for sure for months.
– The Rev. Al Sharpton and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich agree on something????
– You Bet! It’s real education reform that includes charter schools
This Wall Street Journal article probably will be a collector’s item. The picture of Sharpton and Gingrich cordially talking to each other is classic.
But, even more important is that these two men from the absolute opposite ends of the political spectrum agree that real education reform is crucial. And, the reform plan they are supporting most definitely is pushing charter schools.
Are you listening, Kentucky?
Recently, one of the other blogs that writes about Kentucky education has been claiming that Kentucky only spends somewhere around 20 percent of its total money on public education.
That assertion surprised me, as I have heard many times that we actually spend 40 percent or more on public education.
So, I surfed to the governor’s new transparency Web site to see how the state’s fiscal experts describe the budget. The two graphs below are cut and paste copies from that site.
The first one shows how all of the $24.16 billion Kentucky spent in Fiscal Year 2009 was allocated. Education, which I think includes preschool through grade 12, did indeed get 20.2 percent of this pie. That works out to $4.88 billion. Postsecondary education got another 21.7 percent, or 5.24 billion. But, wait – There’s more.
When it comes to money the Kentucky legislature can control, public education got not 20 percent, but a much larger 44 percent of the pie. That’s about $4.136 billion from the $9.4 billion the legislature can control. Postsecondary education got another 13.8 percent, or about $1.3 billion, from the general fund.
I talked to one of the budget people in Frankfort about which graph would be the better indicator of Kentucky legislative intent. The answer was the second graph.
Apparently, a lot of the money in the first graph is “fenced” money from dedicated funds which our legislators really can’t touch.
A considerable amount of the fenced money comes from federal sources, like the federal highway trust fund and Medicaid, which cannot be reallocated by our state leadership.
Other state money that shows in the “all funds” amounts come from such things as license fees that are also dedicated, not general tax, dollars.
For example, license fees are generally fenced to serve the licensees. This includes a wide variety of groups from nurses and doctors to hunters. These are not tax dollars and should not be used as tax dollars. They generally serve to make the administering of the licensing services self-supporting.
License fees may also help do things like support wildlife conservation efforts, in the case of hunting and fishing licenses. Perhaps they even help cover game warden salaries.
While these fee amounts show in the all funds total, they are not available for reprogramming to education.
Of course, some of these license-related activities also contribute to education. For example, wildlife personnel conduct programs for our students, though I don’t think the costs involved for those other agencies’ education programs are shown as an education expense in the pie charts above.
Anyway, I now understand the two ways Kentucky reports funding a bit better, and I hope you also do, as well.
Stay up to date with The Bluegrass Institute to learn about upcoming events, read Jim Waters’ column, and get the latest in education analysis. Check out the following links for more information:
The Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions works with Kentuckians, pro-liberty coalitions, grassroots organizations and business owners to advance freedom and prosperity by promoting free-market capitalism, individual liberty and transparent government. Join Us