KNEA

Kansas teachers union compliance instructions released

Kansas teachers union compliance instructions released

If you're running for office in Kansas and want the support of the teachers union, here are questions you'll need to answer their way. Kansas National Education Association (KNEA), our state's teachers union has a questionnaire for candidates running for elective office. It's really not a series of questions; instead it is a list of things the union wants. Candidates seeking union backing are expected to comply. Following are a sample of questions with some commentary. The full questionnaire may be viewed here. Question: "Do you support requiring that bonuses and/or incentive pay including any form of 'merit pay' be…
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Breaking the statehouse budget deadlock

Breaking the statehouse budget deadlock

By Karl Peterjohn The budget deadlock has begun at the Kansas statehouse. The legislature cannot leave Topeka until they have approved the next biennial state budget that will begin July 1. Usually, this includes the governor’s signature on that legislation. That might not happen this year. That’s the issue. Governor Brownback is not willing to fund a multi-year, multi-billion spending bill demanded by the liberal legislative majorities in both houses. Earlier this year he vetoed a record-breaking income tax hike scheme. So far, the governor has been successful in having his vetoes sustained. The pressure is going to be applied…
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Kansas teachers union versus students

Kansas teachers union versus students

There's no surprise that a labor union would support its members over all other considerations, even Kansas schoolchildren. Kansas National Education Association, the Kansas teachers union, wants to restore due process rights to teachers. The union believes that without due process, also called tenure, teachers are subject to arbitrary dismissal. A common story is that a school board member whose child isn't made -- say, quarterback on the football team or head cheerleader -- could pressure school administrators to take action against the responsible coach or teacher. Pressure could even be brought to change grades. That could happen. It probably…
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School choice in Kansas: Some have it. Many do not.

School choice in Kansas: Some have it. Many do not.

Kansas non-profit executives work to deny low-income families the school choice opportunities that executive salaries can afford. Kansas Association of School Boards Executives and annual salaries [1. IRS Form 990 for 2014] John Heim, Executive Director $182,471 Donna Whiteman, Assistant Executive Director $120,041 Brian Jordan, Assistant Executive Director $106,568 Douglas Moeckel, Deputy Executive Director $109,425 David Shriver, Assistant Executive Director $103,845 These executives can afford to send their children to any school. Kansas National Education Association Executives and annual salaries [2. IRS Form 990 for 2015] Mark Farr, President $118,314 Claudette Johns, Executive Director $149,553 Kevin Riemann, Executive Director $139,327…
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Again, KPERS shows why public pension reform is essential

Again, KPERS shows why public pension reform is essential

Proposals in the Kansas budget for fiscal year 2018 are more evidence of why defined-benefit pension plans are incompatible with the public sector. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has proposed delays in funding KPERS, the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. The delays are in both directions. The state intends to break a past promise to pay, and also to skip some future payments. A memo from KPERS summarizes recent history and the proposed changes: "Last fiscal year, the State delayed its fourth quarter payment for School employer contributions with a promise to pay it in Fiscal Year 2018 with interest. The…
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