Kansas gubernatorial candidates on K-12 school funding: Democrat Laura Kelly

first_imgWe’re continuing with the Kansas gubernatorial candidates’ responses to our invitation to share their thoughts on how to handle the Supreme Court’s ruling directing the legislature to invest more money in K-12 schools.Here is what Democrat Laura Kelly, the Topeka state senator who is the only woman in the race, had to say:In 2005, I began my very first legislative session. That year, our schools were in crisis and we were headed to a special session. In the end, Democrats and moderate Republicans came together to forge a path towards stronger schools. We passed a multi-year plan that invested in our kids and made great schools a top priority.Unfortunately, in 2009 the Great Recession hit, hindering our state’s ability to keep the promises made to our schools. Then, in 2011, the Brownback/Colyer Administration cut schools even more to fund their ill-conceived tax experiment. We must correct these years of neglect and once again invest in our schools.I greatly appreciate the Shawnee Mission Post’s interest in real, concrete solutions. Quite frankly, for a policy wonk like me, it’s refreshing and exciting. Kansas faces many challenges, but our schools are the most urgent.First, we face a deadline in April to address the fundamental inequality of our school funding formula. To remedy the problems outlined by the Kansas Supreme Court, I would encourage support of House Bill 2445 sponsored by Rep. Melissa Rooker (R-Fairway). This bill changes distribution of at-risk funding, eliminates the expanded use of Capital Outlay Funds, and updates the way we calculate the Local Option Budget. These are all important changes needed to address the Court’s ruling.Also, a cost of living index should be built into the formula requiring the state to adjust spending annually. This will help us meet our constitutional responsibility to adequately fund public schools as the economy and other factors change.Next, the Kansas Department of Education has requested that we hire 150 school counselors, social workers, or psychologists every year for five years. These positions are of the utmost importance to our students. I would recommend that these positions be hired by community mental health centers or other local behavioral health partners so that they would be available year-round, even when school is not in session. We would ask that the Court recognize this as a good faith effort to target the 25% of children at the highest risk.Kansas must also make sure all schools – no matter their size or location – receive the support they need. We are currently conducting a survey to determine how individual schools would spend additional dollars. The results will help the Legislature tailor spending to our unique communities.The Legislature already appropriated an additional $293 million for Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019. I supported that measure last session. With the changes to the formula above, this additional money will be more fairly distributed. I will also support a multi-year plan that increases funding significantly over the next three years.With state revenue currently exceeding estimates, I’m confident we can add the additional funding through 2020. I would recommend using money from the ending balance in 2018 and 2019 and then establishing a “trust fund” for 2020.Thanks to bi-partisan cooperation last year, the Legislature was able to reverse the Brownback tax plan. Kansas is now on a path to recovery. Before we alter the tax code further, we should let the dust settle on the 2017 changes, as well as changes made at the federal level.Lastly, it is critical that the Court retain jurisdiction of this case to ensure that the Legislature follows through on these promises to our schools. During the past 8 years, Kansas children have been short-changed. As governor, I will make our schools my top priority. And I will use my budget expertise to ensure Kansas can continue to meet the needs of our students in the years to come.last_img read more

Jets’ Gregg Williams responds to Odell Beckham Jr.’s ‘cheap shots’ comment: ‘Odell who?’

first_imgJets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams responded to Odell Beckham Jr.’s accusations that the coach told his players to injure the wide receiver during a preseason game two years ago. When pressed about Beckham’s recent claims, Williams said with a slight laugh: “Odell who?” before saying, “That was a joke … that was Jerry [Jones],” in reference to how the Cowboys owner responded to Ezekiel Elliott holdout questions in the preseason.  Williams interrupted by saying, “That’s your opinion. What’s New York’s opinion? The Giants’ opinion? What did the Giants do? … That’s not a question for me.” Coach Adam Gase also addressed Beckham’s comments against Williams, saying his staff is doing nothing but “coaching it clean.””Everything I’ve heard from Gregg Williams and our staff has been the type of things that we want football to be played like, which is about energy, effort — and everything I’ve seen, we’re coaching it clean,” Gase told reporters Friday (via cleveland.com).Gase’s comments come after Beckham said Thursday that Williams, who was a defensive coordinator for the Browns from 2017-18 before serving as interim head coach in 2018, coaches his players to make “dirty hits and cheap shots” targeted at him.“The only thing I’m buying is you know probably just got to watch out for the cheap shots and the dirty hits and all the things that [Williams] likes to teach,” Beckham said. “That’s pretty much all we’ve got to watch out for. Other than that, I expect the same. Two-high safety. I don’t expect much man to man. I don’t expect none of that.”Beckham said Williams “changed my life forever” when he was hit during a preseason game in 2017 while playing for the Giants. He explained that Browns players told him they were taught to take him out. Beckham ended up injuring his ankle in that preseason matchup and later broke the same one in Week 5 of the regular season. He missed the final 12 games of the 2017 season after having surgery on his ankle. Antonio Brown will avoid Commissioner Exempt List ahead of Week 2, report says Cam Newton after Panthers loss: All fingers are ‘pointing back to me specifically’ Bears coach Matt Nagy: We didn’t order Mitchell Trubisky not to talk about Green Bay loss “Odell who?”Jets DC Gregg Williams responds to Odell Beckham’s accusations that he told his players to injure the star WR two years ago.“You guys are cooperating giving him attention. Just don’t give him attention.”pic.twitter.com/RVFL5g29R9— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) September 13, 2019″We’ve got several players that have already come out and mentioned things about that,” Williams said of Beckham’s comment. “We don’t do that. Never done that anywhere I’ve been. We don’t do anything to hurt the team. It’s the number one primary thing. If you’re committing penalties, you’re doing that type of stuff ⁠— we just don’t do it. You guys are cooperating giving him attention. Just don’t give him attention.”Williams went on to take a shot at Beckham after a reporter said Beckham is “one of the most dynamic players in the league.”  Related News “I had people who were here when he was here telling us, ‘If you get a chance, take a shot at him. If you can hurt him. I guarantee he’s going to leave the game hurt.’ And stuff like that,” Beckham added. “It’s fine. It’s football, in a sense. We’re all men out there, so there’s no need for doing any of that kind of stuff.”It’s like a known rule, in preseason nobody in the NFL’s really out to do stuff like that. So you just know who he is. That’s the man calling the plays.”The Jets and Browns will play Monday at MetLife Stadium with kickoff set for 8:15 p.m. ET.last_img read more

L.A. `most wanted’ gangster arrested

first_imgLOS ANGELES – One of the LAPD’s 10 “Most Wanted” gang members was discovered in Oklahoma City when he was caught in a prostitution sting, police Chief William Bratton said Thursday. Jonathan C. Blackwell, 27, was arrested during an undercover prostitution sting by Oklahoma City police Monday night, Bratton said. Blackwell, also known by the gang moniker “K-Swiss,” told authorities his name was Marco Lee and he was fingerprinted and released on bail that night, Bratton said. A fingerprint check conducted the next day by Oklahoma City police revealed that Blackwell, a member of the By Yourself Hustlers Gang in the Wilshire area, was wanted by the Los Angeles Police Department in connection with a home invasion robbery in which two people were killed and a third wounded on New Year’s Eve. Rodolfo Diaz, 31, is wanted in connection with the Aug. 20, 2002, fatal shooting of his girlfriend’s mother, Irma Gaxiola, at her home in the 1600 block of Vernon Avenue, according to Bratton. His girlfriend’s sister, Alejandra Cerecer, was wounded in the attack. Diaz, a member of the 38th Street gang, is 5 feet 5 inches tall, with black hair and brown eyes. He has a heart-shaped tattoo on his right forearm and a girl tattooed on his left arm. “Today we send an unmistakable message to gang members,” Villaraigosa said. “We simply will not tolerate any kind of random assault on the lives of Angelenos and we refuse to take our eye off the ball.” Blackwell is the fifth person captured since Bratton and Villaraigosa unveiled the LAPD’s list of “Most Wanted” gang members as part of their anti-gang suppression plan. “We’ve got five people in custody today because we put their faces on this chart here, and you published it,” Villaraigosa told reporters. Villaraigosa said he is now working on the next phase of his gang reduction strategy, aimed at providing $169 million worth of youth and anti-gang programs. The Rev. Jeff Carr is scheduled to begin work Aug. 1 as Villaraigosa’s deputy mayor to oversee those programs. “We know that an effective gang reduction strategy must not only devote more resources to the arrest of gang members, but it also must address the factors that lead to gang involvement,” Villaraigosa said. “We must address the social conditions that make gang life one of the few alternatives in neighborhoods.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! They immediately canvassed the neighborhood where Blackwell was arrested and distributed his photograph, Bratton said. An anonymous tip led them to a motel where Blackwell was staying, Bratton said. He was arrested without incident. Blackwell was being held without bail in the Oklahoma County jail, according to the LAPD. “The arrest of Jonathan Christopher Blackwell is another example of the old, familiar phrase, `you can run, but you can’t hide,”‘ Bratton said during a news conference at the LAPD’s downtown dispatch center. Thursday, Bratton and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the addition of another gang member to the “Most Wanted” list. last_img