Friday, December 19, 2014

TYSON: Latest legislative issues add up

By CARYN TYSON, Kansas State Senator | 1/29/2014

Several news sources have claimed the Kansas Legislature has made recent cuts (some go as far to say, ‘drastic cuts’) in K-12 funding. They couldn’t be more wrong. The Legislature for the past three years has not cut K-12 state funding. The legislative cuts were made in 2009 under Gov. Mark Parkinson’s watch. There have been increases since the cuts made in 2009-2010. However, the increases are not enough to offset the cuts made before the 2010 election cycle.

K-12 funding comes from state, federal and local sources. According to the Kansas Department of Education, total expenditures were $12,776 per-pupil for the 2012-2013 school year. If you have Internet access, school expenditures can be found at http://www.ksde.org/Agency/FiscalandAdministrativeServices/SchoolFinance/ReportsandPublications.aspx. You also may contact me or the state department of education to get copies of information on school funding and expenditures.

Several news sources have claimed the Kansas Legislature has made recent cuts (some go as far to say, ‘drastic cuts’) in K-12 funding. They couldn’t be more wrong. The Legislature for the past three years has not cut K-12 state funding. The legislative cuts were made in 2009 under Gov. Mark Parkinson’s watch. There have been increases since the cuts made in 2009-2010. However, the increases are not enough to offset the cuts made before the 2010 election cycle.

K-12 funding comes from state, federal and local sources. According to the Kansas Department of Education, total expenditures were $12,776 per-pupil for the 2012-2013 school year. If you have Internet access, school expenditures can be found at http://www.ksde.org/Agency/FiscalandAdministrativeServices/SchoolFinance/ReportsandPublications.aspx. You also may contact me or the state department of education to get copies of information on school funding and expenditures.

As you know, I and many of my fellow legislators have been attempting to fend off the over-reach of the federal government. In the Natural Resources Committee, we recently heard conferees testify in support of a bill that would give Kansas the sole authority to manage the population and habitats of the Lesser Prairie Chicken. The bill would restrict any federal regulations adding the Lesser Prairie Chicken to the endangered species list. The bill is a positive step in protecting our state sovereignty.   

There was an effort last year to allow foreign-owned agriculture mega-corporations to operate in Kansas. Current law restricts these large operations from existing in Kansas unless they have county approval. The word in Topeka is that the bill will not be worked this year. Instead of letting the issue be put off until 2015, we need to strengthen the law to support county approval. Residents should decide if they would want a facility with more than 10,000 head of livestock in their county.

Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, represents Franklin County and the 12th District in the Kansas Senate. Email her at Caryn.Tyson@senate.ks.gov or call (785) 296-6838.

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