Last week Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature made historic strides in bringing more local control to Kansas school districts, particularly to Johnson County and, specifically to the Shawnee Mission School District. They also made great strides for higher education, which has been lost in all the publicity about K-12 funding.
Autonomy is sacrosanct, but so are checks and balances. With the Johnson County commissioners holding the Sheriff's Deparment's purse strings, taxpayers can be assured there will be every effort to get their moneys worth and to squeeze out unnecessary spending. As there should be.
Understanding that this is a campaign year for Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, it is easy to see why his administration would like to rush out numbers that paint a glowing picture of the tax cuts he pushed through the Legislature. But the numbers, at this point, are just plain half-baked, if not blatantly misleading.We will not know the impact of the tax cuts until the 2014 fiscal year is taken into consideration.
Before we jump on the bandwagon to legalize marijuana, lets watch the experiments in Colorado and Washington. Lets learn whether there is something to fear or not. I have already lived through one pot revolution. I am not ready to leap into another one.
The standards belong to the states that voluntarily joined with Common Core, and the ways it is implemented belong to the school boards and superintendents, where those decisions belong.
Depending on your point of view, either the Kansas Supreme Court brought sanity to the issue with its decision that cuts in education funding since 2010 led to an unconstitutionally imbalanced playing field between rich and poor schools, or it dodged the issue. Either way, the question of the adequacy of funding Kansas schools has hit the reset button.
just because the Country Club Plaza streets and sidewalks are public does not give the right to individuals or groups to do as they like. The Plaza is a public heritage that must be inclusive, but that inclusiveness must not be trampled on when mobs effectively push out other patrons.
Barack Obama would like to go down in history for more than Obamacare and ending two wars. The Keystone XL oil pipeline and illegal immigration are two ripe issues for his legacy that would not only expand his record but also demonstrate that he was a president capable of moving beyond lofty rhetoric to getting things done.
The tsunami of emails I received from my column last week indicates Kansas City International Airports popularity runs wide, but it may not be enough to hear anecdotally about our citizens love affair with KCI. A reputable, objective, scientific study was done and reached the same conclusion. Lets get this report into the record.
Come hell or high water, citizens of this metro area will fight to keep their uniquely convenient airport. They just love it. Lets spruce up the current Kansas City International and hang out a sign on every gate: Welcome to the most convenient airport in the world.
Johnson County is bound to be the pivotal county in the race for Kansas governor this November. Paul Davis, the likely Democratic candidate, must peel away enough moderate Republican and independent voters in Johnson County to dent the large right-wing vote that incumbent Republican Gov. Sam Brownback will tally elsewhere.
Poor Duane Goossen, who was Kansas budget director from 1998 to 2010, is trying in his nonhysterical manner to warn Kansans that the state is spending each year more than it is taking in, to the tune of about $100 million and growing. And the day of reckoning is coming.
Im thankful for Congress. And I dont mean just the institution of Congress, but the actual living, breathing, despised souls who currently run it. These public servants regardless of your political views deserve recognition that they have one of the most grueling and thankless jobs in America.
For the eight years I was a panelist on KCPTs Ruckus program, we would end the show with our roasts and toasts. I thought it would be fun to start the New Year with some of the roasts and toasts Ive been saving up over time. Mayor Sly James of Kansas City gets both thumbs up and thumbs down.
There is much to say about R. Crosby Kemper Jr., who died last week, but so much is private that I dare not delve too deeply for fear of disrupting the years of honesty we shared, while on trips, or horseback or dinners. I do, however, want to set the record straight on a few things.
Its prediction time for 2014. This year its somewhat weighted toward Kansas events because many of the boiling hot races are there. Lets start with the big enchilada. Gov. Sam Brownback will be re-elected, but pundits will be astounded at how close the race will be.
A two-pronged attack on bullies at school and in the home is a combination that may save some of the devastating pain wrought by bullies, particularly cyber-bullies.
With all-district representation, a reform recently recommended by the The Charter Review Commission, Kansas City runs the risk of becoming a Tower of Babel, without a cohesive single voice for major citywide issues. Kansas City needs a blend. The city needs district voices, and it needs all-city voices.
President Barack Obama and the nation deserve a new slate of leaders to take over Health and Human Services, and thus the implementation of Obamacare, several parts of which have already been postponed a year.
Whatever the motive of Missouri Gov. Jay Nixons border war speech, in which he called for a moratorium within the region on offering generous tax incentives for businesses to move across the state line. it apparently backfired in Kansas, where work is going on quietly, behind the scenes.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie clearly is elevating the issue of reforming the teacher tenure system to become a key part of a presidential platform. And he can claim, rightfully, he accomplished it with bipartisan help. If Christie makes it to the Republican debates, you can be sure the issue will be front and center.
The urgency of finding new niches for Kansas City in this competitive world cannot be overestimated. In many ways, this area is being left behind. And our lack of solid job growth proves the point.
A plan as radical as Obamacare is bound to make winners and losers. According to our insurance broker, the small business I co-own with 18 employees will become one of the big losers. It is doubtful we can become winners.
Whether KanCare can truly continue to provide adequate services and slash expenses at the same time remains to be seen. In the meantime, we hope Finn Bullers lives a long life with whatever care is reasonably required.
Rex Sinquefield, the ultra-rich Missouri gadfly who single-handedly imposes his will on his states politics , claims the Kansas economy has been stimulated since income taxes were slashed and certain corporations received huge tax cuts. The Kansas economy is tracking most of the rest of the nation. There has been no discernible jolt upward.