Cost Functions Should Not be Used to Make Education Spending Decisions

by Kansas Policy Institute


June 1 - Wichita - A cost study recommending a school funding increase upwards of $2 billion survived a peer review by a scholar the Legislature hired; but, another respected school finance scholar says cost studies should not be used to set funding levels.

Benjamin Scafadi, Ph.D., a professor of economics and director of the Education Economics Center at Kennesaw State University, says, “cost function studies do not provide valid and reliable estimates of the minimum 'cost' of achieving a given outcome.” 

Knowing the Legislature’s WestEd cost study would define the conversation on education spending and impact further judicial proceedings, Kansas Policy Institute partnered to do an independent peer review with Dr. Scafidi.  His findings disprove the notion that spending more money causes student achievement to improve. 

In response to the Kansas Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Gannon V case, the Kansas Legislature recently contracted with a vendor conducting a $285,000 study to analyze the “cost” of educating public school students in grades K-12. The Legislature asked the vendor, WestEd, to “estimate the minimum spending required to produce a given outcome within a given educational environment.” WestEd used a “cost function” approach to estimate the costs of providing students in each public school in Kansas with an adequate education. 

Dave Trabert, president of the Kansas Policy Institute, commented, “These cost studies may be done with the best of intentions, but they fail to provide results that are useful in guiding policy decisions. In practice they only take a partial look at one variable – spending – and ignore all other variables that impact learning.”

Scafadi said, “The estimates vary widely and do not track with historical data on spending and achievement.” The review outlined the reasons why supposed “cost” functions do not provide valid and reliable estimates of the minimum “cost” of achieving a given outcome.

“One glaring problem we found with the WestEd study is that researchers do not have access to data on all external factors that impact the cost of educating students.” Trabert said.

Scafidi’s study for Kansas Policy Institute included in its exhaustive review a complete recommendation of best practices that should be performed to “check carefully for robustness and reliability of results.”

His data determined it unreasonable to conclude that giving the Kansas public school system, as currently constituted, a large boost to spending would significantly improve student outcomes.

“Given the vast sums of taxpayer funds at stake, the Kansas Governor, Legislature, and the State Supreme Court should implement the five best practices, as laid out in my review, to discover the truth about the relationship between spending and valuable student outcomes.” Scafadi concluded.




Editor's Note: Such mathematical games accomplish little more than feed the lawyers who feast on endless court decisions that force the Kansas Legislature to raise taxes violating both the separation of powers and the people's right to determine fiscal policy.

Clinton Foundation a charitable fraud.. in trouble

by Staff & Anonymous


Have you wondered why the Clinton Foundation stumbled so suddenly after Hillary was no longer in a position of influence?

Perhaps this summary will provide some insight?? The Federalist reports: "The tax records, which were filed with the IRS in November of 2015, show that the Clinton Foundation spent far more on overhead expenses like travel ($7.9 million) than it did on charitable grants in 2014. The group also spent more on rent and office supplies (a total of $6.6 million) than it did on charitable grants. The Clinton Foundation’s IRS forms show that even its depreciation expense ($5.3 million) — an accounting classification that takes into account the wear and tear of an organization’s assets — exceeded the tax-exempt organization’s charitable grant outlays". 

Form 990 indicates the foundation spent only 5.65 percent on charitable donations and 94.35 percent on overhead expenses.
From their 2014 990 Tax Form; they list 486 employees (line 5)!  It took 486 people who are paid $34.8 million and $91.3 million in fees and expenses, to give away $5.1 MILLION in charitable funds.

The real heart of the Clintons can be seen here.  Staggering but not surprising.. These figures are from an official copy of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation for the tax year 2014. The copy of the tax return is from the National Center for Charitable Statistics web site. http://nccs.urban.org/  You can obtain the latest tax return on any charitable organization there.

The Clinton Foundation:   Number of Employees (line 5)  486
Total revenue (line 12)  $177,804,612.00
Total grants to charity (line 13) $5,160,385.00  (this is less than 3%)
Total expenses of  $91,281,145.00

Expenses include:
Salaries (line 15) $34,838,106.00
Fund raising fees (line 16a) $850,803.00
Other expenses (line 17) $50,431,851.00    HUH??????

Net assets/fund balances (line 22)  $332,471,349.00…  So it required 486 people, who were paid $34.8 million, plus $91.3 million in fees and expenses, to give away $5.1 MILLION!

Investors Business Daily gives an indepth report on the Clinton Crime Foundation from money laundering to the Steele Dossier on Trump to the Ressian Uranium deal.

And they call this a CHARITY?

(It is alleged that this is one of the greatest white-collar crimes ever committed. And just think---one of the participants was a former  president and one (gasp!) wanted to be elected president of the United States.  If justice was truly served they would both be in prison).

The greatest white collar crime of all time.




The Power to Tax is the Power to Destroy

by Bob Bauman

 

The ghost of Richard Nixon is haunting the halls of power in Washington, D.C.

In 1974, as a 37-year-old member of the U.S. House of Representatives, I counted Dick Nixon as my friend. Then, the Watergate scandal broke. President Nixon was accused of, among other things, trying to get the IRS to harass his political enemies with tax audits. It resulted in a vote for his impeachment.

Now, fast forward nearly four decades to last Friday. A director at the Internal Revenue Service openly revealed that the agency had specifically targeted for special scrutiny 75 conservative groups that had 'Tea Party' or 'Patriots' or other similar terms in their names. They even went so far as to target groups looking to educate citizens on the U.S. Constitution.

I know, it's chilling. It prompts us to ask: If faceless IRS bureaucrats can target Americans for their beliefs at will, are you next?
 

As The Wall Street Journal (May 11, 2013) stated: "Other than the power to prosecute, the taxing authority is the most awesome power the government has. It can ruin people and companies."

And if you offend the IRS, it could ruin you too!

In the face of these appalling attacks on our basic liberties, perhaps the time has come for Americans to protect their fundamental financial and personal privacy rights by considering heading offshore. For decades, The Sovereign Society has been showing members how to implement simple asset protection strategies, take advantage of global investment opportunities and employ safe, cost-effective ways to move assets to safer havens abroad.

As recent events have highlighted, the proverbial government noose around our necks is only getting tighter.


The United Police State of America


Think, for a moment, about the implications of the IRS's actions.

If you dare to advocate a political position that it dislikes, will your taxes be audited? How much will it cost you to defend yourself?

This is not small-time Chicago ward heeler politics. This is serious, criminal official misconduct on a massive scale.

Until now, I think most Americans assumed that the IRS treated us as the law and our Constitution required, although not always courteously or fairly.  In reality, things were much different. High IRS officials knew about and concealed their anti-conservative policy for two years, since at least June 29, 2011.

Equally shocking, one of my least favorite bureaucrats, IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, for a year falsely denied that the IRS had done the very thing they just finally admitted doing.
 

A few months ago, I wrote: "As a former professor of constitutional law, I would hope the president knows that the Bill of Rights guarantees every citizen due process of law. But if the president is willing to ignore the U.S. Constitution, what might such a zealot do to implement his vision of social justice and redistribution of wealth?"

Turns out, some people's names (or at least the names of their organizations) really are on Obama's list.

In anticipation of the tyrannical impulses of our current government, I recently created a survival guide for Washington D.C's new tax assault, wrote about a fast-track residence program in Panama and shared the secrets to the easiest way to enjoy the benefits of European Union citizenship.

It pains me to admit it, but I believe that our best chance to protect our liberties and enjoy financial freedom may exist overseas. I urge you to plan for your future accordingly.

I leave you today with the words of Martin Niemiller, a prominent Protestant pastor who was an outspoken foe of Adolf Hitler. He spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps and is best remembered for this quotation in which we all can find a lesson, we must all speak out against oppression:

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.



Read more: http://patrioteponym.webnode.com/news/power-to-tax-power-to-destroy/