Education’s money. The Hutchinson News recently carried an op-ed by Jack Mace of Hutchinson titled “Education’s Money.” It starts with this: “So-called ‘conservatives’ have built a straw man; 85 percent of Kansas general funds go to education. Well, du-uh!” There is a glaring error here, so much so that I’m surprised that newspaper would print this piece without some basic fact checking. According to Kansas Fiscal Facts published by the Kansas Legislative Research Department, for fiscal year 2011, spending on all education in Kansas was 66.7 percent of general fund spending. K through 12 spending was 55.2 percent. … Other than this, Mace says that the legislature is responsible for funding education adequately but has no responsibility to determine what “adequate” means. He relies on the Kansas Constitution as the authority for requiring spending 85 percent on “adequate” education, but the actual language is: “The legislature shall make suitable provision for finance of the educational interests of the state.” … It should be noted that Mace, according to a Hutchinson News article from last year, is a teacher: “[Mace] said he is a third-generation teacher/trainer, teaching for six years in the 1980s at Hutchinson Correctional Facility. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind., and currently is a substitute teacher in local and area schools.” Hopefully he prepares his classroom lessons with more regard for facts than he does for his newspaper op-eds.
Kansas websites to be presented. On Monday January 10 Americans for Prosperity is presenting an event where several Kansas websites focused on public policy and news will be presented. James Franko, Communications Director for the Kansas Policy Institute will introduce KansasOpenGov, an open window on Kansas government, giving Kansans a clear look at how their state and local tax dollars are spent. … Then Paul Soutar will present Kansas Watchdog and discuss how this news outlet is pursuing the investigative role that mainstream media has relinquished in the part few years. … Finally, I will join the group discussion on how a community activist can effectively use resources like KansasOpenGov and Kansas Watchdog. … For more information on this event contact John Todd at [email protected] or 316-312-7335, or Susan Estes, AFP Field Director at [email protected] or 316-681-4415.
Constitution. In its criticism of conservatives and their love for the Constitution, the Center for American Progress sent this message to supporters: The Constitution clearly grants Congress the authority to enact the law through the ‘Commerce Clause,’ which allows Congress to regulate the national economy, and the ‘Necessary and Proper Clause,’ which grants Congress the power ‘to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution’ this power to regulate the economy.” This, of course, gives government the power to do almost anything, which fits right in with CAP’s goal: “Progressives recognize that the Constitution sees ‘We the people’ as the source of political power and legitimacy, and that it grants the federal government broad powers to better the nation, separates church and state, enshrines basic human and civil rights, promotes free and fair markets, and broadly protects the right to vote.” It’s laughable to see this organization pretend to be in support of “free and fair markets.”
Constitution thought to be more than 100 years old. Leftist writer Ezra Klein, appearing on MSNBC, thinks the Constitution is confusing because it’s old: “The issue with the Constitution is not that people don’t read the text and think they’re following it. The issue with the Constitution is that the text is confusing because it was written more than a hundred years ago.” … Others have poked fun at Congressional Republicans for the reading, saying it has no binding action or affect on Congress. Others have criticized the cost of the reading.