Kentucky’s MUNIS education finance system remains broken more than two years after the problems were identified to the legislature. That creates temptations. Temptations lead to this.
Kentucky sales and use tax revenues were up $11.6 million or 5% in December over the same period in 2007. If you are keeping score at home, this is the December in which the world was supposed to be ending and Gov. Beshear was hankering for a bailout from President-elect Barack Obama.
Fiscal year revenues, since July 1, are up $49,724,244 over the same period last year.
Kentucky has a spending problem, not a revenue production problem. Therefore, tax increases are not the answer. Less spending, within our means, is the answer.
Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, rightly proposes freezing tuition at Kentucky’s universities and takes a swipe at university presidents, who are playing petty games with our students’ futures.
These chief educational politicians are channeling their frustrations over not getting huge increases in funding each year from the General Assembly into double-digit tuition hikes. They instigate students to come to the Capitol and pound their pitchforks while blaming lawmakers for the steep increase in the price of their college education.
Williams rightly assessed the situation in Friday’s Courier-Journal: “I believe some of the institutions have raised tuition when they didn’t get everything they wanted from the General Assembly to try to raise some sentiment against the actions of the General Assembly.”
Instead, students should consider pounding their pitchforks outside the homes of Kentucky university presidents’, although they probably can’t get to them because they likely live in gated communities – considering many make salaries larger than the governor’s.
Gov. Steve Beshear expressed excitement and an interesting economic theory Thursday afternoon in response to hearing President-elect Barack Obama’s plan for a bailout of the states.
“Without fast and comprehensive action,” Beshear said, “our nation and state will fall into a deeper recession.”
Beshear didn’t provide any information to back up his suggestion that “fast and comprehensive action” — which simply means spending some borrowed tax money — will prevent a deeper recession.
The worst thing about a bailout of the states is that inefficiently allocated assets don’t get a chance to be put to better use. The second worst thing is that the money will be gone all too soon.
Beshear, meanwhile, is still talking:
“We are ready, as a state, to invest this stimulus funding. To that end, I will continue to work aggressively with Kentucky’s congressional delegation, state and local officials and the incoming administration to ensure that we are prepared to maximize the impact of funding to create jobs and ensure that we are moving our state forward with responsible investments in infrastructure.”
This is not going to end well.
The Kentucky Senate’s Education Committee heard testimony on mathematics instruction this morning and then voted out Senate Joint Resolution 19, which calls for the Kentucky Department of Education to revise the state’s mathematics standards and testing programs. The resolution is a reaction to continued poor mathematics performance in the commonwealth.
SJR 19 recommendations are based on three key documents:
• The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ “Principles and Standards for School Mathematics”
• The NCTM “Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8”
Issued about two years ago to deal with interpretation problems with the “Principals and Standards.” And,
• The final report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel
This was a presidential panel convened to deal with the nation-wide deficiencies in math instruction.
Collectively, these three documents call for instruction to mastery of what many term “the basics.” The documents also indicate that algebra, rather than other, more esoteric subjects, needs to be the next focus as students progress. Esoteric math subjects should be dropped in the lower grades until these basic needs are met, first.