A reminder of workplace freedom – National Employee Freedom Week

David DorseyEducation

National Employee Freedom Week is a great time to reflect upon how fortunate Kansans are to have workplace freedom in a right-to-work state, one in which individuals are given the choice as to whether or not to join a union. As a former public school teacher in Kansas, I worked in an environment with significant union influence. The National Education … Read More

“The Wrong Stuff”- new school redesign project should be “deep spaced”

David DorseyEducation

You have to hand it to Education Commissioner Randy Watson, he knows how to get people excited about something. His latest promotional venture is called the Kansans Can School Redesign project and the first seven school districts selected to participate were named at the August state board meeting. Why seven? Because Commissioner Watson is making the redesign project analogous to … Read More

The new school funding formula (SB 19) ensures another lawsuit

David DorseyEducation

More than a decade ago the Kansas Supreme Court took the unprecedented step of injecting itself into the legislative process, ordering the Legislature to cough up an additional $853 million per year to fund K-12 education in its landmark Montoy decision. The Legislature caved, allowing the Court to usurp the constitutional authority of the power of the purse from that … Read More

New school finance law will do nothing to improve outcomes of at-risk students

David DorseyEducation

The Legislature blew it. Given a golden opportunity to give serious attention to the issue of low performance and the huge achievement gaps of Kansas at-risk students, the Legislature instead chose to appease the Supreme Court through an increase in funding. The new school finance law – SB 19 – is full of language aimed at improving educational outcomes of … Read More

Again and again, in Kansas public education it’s protecting the institutions first, students second

David DorseyEducation

Recent actions by a legislative committee and the state’s largest school district are grim reminders of just how much public education in Kansas is all about protecting the institutions that provide the education, not the students. On one hand there’s the state legislature. The House K-12 Education Budget Committee continues to struggle with putting together a “consensus bill” that will … Read More

Giant education establishment relentless in effort to quash tax credit scholarship program

David DorseyEducation

The Topeka Capital-Journal article “Kansas House bill could narrow private school tax credit program in coming years” provides a lengthy description of the program that was passed in 2014 and where it may be headed as forces within the Legislature fight to limit and ultimately eliminate the fledgling program. The article includes all the hot-button issues that school choice opponents … Read More

New Study Shows At-risk Charter School Students Outperform Those in Exclusive Schools

David DorseyEducation

There is no shortage of those critical of charter schools, and most of their criticism is baseless. The doubting-Thomases like to claim that charter schools drain money from traditional public schools.  Reviews of charter school funding from coast to coast show otherwise. They claim charter schools do not take special education or other special needs students – also not true. … Read More

It’s baaaaack! Teacher due process poised to be wrested from local control

David DorseyEducation

Lost in all the hullaballoo over action surrounding the massive tax increase is that the effort to take teacher due process decisions away from local school boards and put it back in the hands of state government has passed the House of Representatives. I recently testified against the bill in the House Education Committee (the bill was not put forward … Read More

Most Kansas legislators won’t declare their principles

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Lots of declarations are made on the campaign trail and town hall meetings, but when asked to declare their principles on key state budget and education issues, most Kansas legislators wouldn’t respond. Kansas Policy Institute asked all 165 Kansas legislators to respond to a 6-question multiple choice online survey between January 13 and January 30 but only 34 responded; some … Read More