Someone I know is running for a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives, and as a candidate he was sent a questionnaire from the “Kansas Political Action Committee.” This group is associated with the Kansas National Education Association (KNEA). A teachers union, in other words.
This candidate asked me for help in answering the questions. After reading them, it became clear to me that the questions are formulated to advance the interests of the teachers union and others wrapped up in — and profiting from — the public school bureaucracy and its monopoly on the use of state education funds.
The questions contain many statements expressing support for more taxing and spending by the State of Kansas. They serve to illustrate very well the biases and thinking of our state’s educational bureaucracy. Over the next few weeks, I want to present some of these questions and how difficult it is to answer them. Then I think Kansans will then know more about the true agenda of the people running the public school machine in Kansas.
Under the heading “Ensuring Quality Public Schools for All Kansas Children”, read question 1:
KNEA opposes efforts to enact tax and spending limitation such as the so-called “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” (TABOR) or “Taxpayer Empowerment Act” (TEA) on the Kansas State Legislature or local units of government. Such proposals will severely limit the state’s ability to meet the needs of citizens and react to unforeseen circumstances. Will you oppose efforts to pass tax and spending limitations including TABOR and TEA? (Yes or No)
Answer that I proposed for the candidate: I must respectfully disagree with the premise of this question. Limiting the rate of growth of Kansas government leaves more money in the hands of its citizens, so that they can decide how to meet their own personal needs. Legislators have shown that left to their own devices, they are incapable of holding down spending to responsible, affordable levels. Something else besides the personal discipline of legislators is needed to control the rate of growth of government.
I would advise your friend to not answer the questionaire at all. Better they know nothing than something when it’s against what they stand for.
I find the KNEA interesting because they’re a teachers union but if you look at teacher pay and benefits, they’ve done virtually nothing for them. They got over $1 billion in increased spending a couple of years ago and rather than give it to the teachers, they created new programs and expanded old ones rather than pay more in salaries or benefits.
I keep wondering when teachers are going to wake up and realize the KNEA has no interest in helping them.