Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The governor recently made his budget cuts to balance the budget for Fiscal Year 2010, which will conclude on June 30. With public education making up 52% of the state budget we all knew we would get cut, but as an educational leader it still upsets me when we are at the funding level of 2006 and there is no relief in sight.

Which brings me to several points:
1. When the legislature knew this would occur back in 2005 why was nothing done to curtail spending or a roll back on some of the tax exemptions that were made for big business. Of course no one wants higher taxes but have you seen a tax cut from the state on your check lately? NO, none of their cuts effected the individual but just businesses.

2. Who forecasts what revenue the state will bring in? I realize it is done in November for the following year but good lord could we get a little closer so budgets of state agencies don't have to get cut at mid-year. Whoever predicts this makes the weather man look like a genius.

3. This one hurts to say, I feel the legislature is getting exactly what they want, a cut to education while hiding behind lost revenue. The recession had nothing to do with our current economic situation, there was no recession in 2005 when they knew in 2009 we would be close to $450 million short of the budget. When they signed the three year education funding act they knew good and well they couldn't fund it, and in my opinion this was how they could get out of the Supreme Court ruling.

This is a shame for the school children of Kansas, they (legislature) will be $855 million short in Fiscal Year 2012, and what is being done? Nothing, they only want to pay education back for winning the law suit against them. I hope they are happy and realize that the cost of an education far out weighs the cost of ignorance.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Due to the increase in enrollment across the state of Kansas, and when adding the various factors that give our "weighted" funding our state is another $100 million over budget on education funding for this fiscal year. The governor has expressed that a cut will be made at the end of November in the amount (we have been told) of $150 per pupil on our "weighted" funding. For USD 344 this means a cut of approximately $100,000 from our budget. The news just keeps getting better, we have been warned that another cut will be coming in April and will probably be even bigger than the November cut, but that is speculation.

Here is the problem with these type of cuts. All schools set their budgets in July like we are supposed to and then to cut the budget six months or nine months into it when obligations have been made is not a good way to conduct business. I realize that if the money is not there then we have absorb cuts from state aid like other agencies, however, one could ask the legislature where they get their figures and why are they so grossly wrong. To be blunt, I'm not sure the legislature wants to do a thing to correct the fiscal woes our state is in, and I think that is unfortunate for the kids of Kansas because they are the ones that will ultimately suffer.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Two Hand Set Shot

When we first learned to shoot a basketball, we all used the two hand set shot because we were to weak to get the ball up to the goal any other way. Then as we got older our shot changed, because we got stronger, and could get the ball to the goal with one hand. The only problem was our accuracy suffered because it was a different way of shooting. Our coaches pointed out, though, that the two hand set shot was to easy to block and we had to change. The ones that changed to shoot the way we were coached lasted, the ones that couldn't give up the two hand set shot dropped out of the sport.

Most of us are self taught, we use what we know and what talents we have to succeed. But once we encounter a situation or challenge that is on a different level than we have experienced before how many of us revert back to the two hand set shot? It can be very uncomfortable to change old behaviors, and usually the first few tries at something we fail, just like the one handed shot. We must stay the course because we know that is what is best in the long run and all that is necessary is to practice the new behaviors. As life and changes get more competitive we are constantly taking our game to different levels, and as painful as it sometimes is we must learn new ways to handle the new problems we are faced with.

Board Summary

The Board of Education met on Monday, November 9, in the annex. The meeting was by far the best attended board meeting since I have been here. The hot topic was the senior panel, most of the seniors, several parents, and underclassmen were in attendance. The students made their presentation their views, and their parents views were taken into consideration. The board decided to table the issue until the December board meeting, with the Pleasanton Student Council and the administration coming up with a policy.

The auditing report by Terry Sercer was approved, Connie Krull, board clerk, and Karen Snow, board treasurer, were both sited by Mr. Sercer as doing good work in getting the information ready and the accuracy of their figures.

The Board also voted not to become a member of the Schools for Fair Funding group.

The policy book will be reviewed in the December board meeting and the appropriate policies will be discussed and changes made if necessary. The policies will then need to be reviewed by KASB and then get final approval.

The Christmas Dinner for employees will be December 14, at 6:00 p.m. The monthly board meeting will then follow at 7:30.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November BOE Meeting

The November Board of Education for USD 344 will be, Monday, November 9, in the Annex. The agenda is as follows:

Call to Order
Additions to Agenda
Approval of Agenda
Approval of Minutes
Approval of Monthly Bills
Visitors Forum
Thank You Card

Principal and Superintendent Report

Business, Discussion, and Action Items

Senior Class Panel
Report by Auditor (Will probably occur at the start of the meeting)
Schools for Fair Funding
KASB State Convention
Policy Book
Christmas Dinner
Executive Session