Saturday, June 8, 2013

Although Fundraising Goal Not Reached, Northlake Public Library District Gets Its Hulk Statue

Northlake's Indiegogo flexible funding campaign

Excerpt:  Enter Steve Williams, owner of L.A. Boxing in Orange City, California, who called last Friday with an offer: You see, Williams just happened to have a 9-foot-tall fiberglass statue produced to promote 2008′s The Incredible Hulk in theaters. He tells the Franklin Park Herald-Journal he had dressed it in shorts and boxing gloves, transforming Hulk into his company’s mascot, only to run into problems with the city, which insisted the statue’s presence on a trailer outside the business violated codes. After five years of fighting city hall*, he moved across the street, but the landlord didn’t want it in his parking lot.

Northlake would  have faced the same battle had the library staff opted to play the statue outside.  (See Chapter 6 of Title 8.)

Not the 9-foot Hulk of Northlake's dreams.

This one measures 60 inches high, including the base.

Related posts:
The clock is ticking on the Hulk.  (6/3/2013).
Perhaps it's time for Northlake to prioritize its list.  (5/9/2013)
Bringing Hulk to the Northlake Public Library District: Is Everything in Order?  (5/3/2013.   And, yes, apparently, it is, from a legal standpoint.)

Arkansas Loves and Values Its Public Libraries

Table of contents:
  • Library Visits Before and After Onset of the Recession
  • Circulation Before and After Onset of the Recession
  • Reference Transactions Before and After Onset of the Recession
  • Public Internet Computer Use Before and After Onset of the Recession 
  • Program Attendance Before and After Onset of the Recession
  • Public Library Usage Before and After the Recession Compared with Recent Usage Trends

Library use on the rise in a tough economy  (Courier-News, 6/7/2013)

Excerpt:    Increased use of public libraries during an economic downturn isn't just speculation on Pierce's part. A 2010 study commissioned by the Arkansas State Library examined seven Arkansas counties, including Pope, and determined the use of public libraries does go up as the economy goes down. 

Pope County Library System.

But not the statement, “This policy manual does not override any policy covered by the city of Wisconsin Dells Employee Handbook.”

Library OKs policy manual.  (Wisconsin Dells Events, 6/7/2013)

The Kilbourn Public Library is a library operated jointed by the City of Wisconsin Dells and the Village of Lake Delton. 

And that's as far as I'm going to take it.   

It's a Saturday.  And I promised son Eddie, just returned home from a 3-week study abroad trip to Greece, that we'd have ribs on the grill tonight, so there's shopping to be done.

Photo credit:  Eddie Nelson

Friday, June 7, 2013

ALEC'd to Death: Wisconsin Republicans Continue to Depend on the Koch Brothers' Playbook

Tax deduction of up to $10,000 per child in private school added to budget. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/5/2013)

A member of the ALEC Education Task Force is quoted in the article.

The ALEC playbook

ALEC model legislation: The Parental Choice Scholarship Tax Credit Accountability Act

State Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) Tells Joy Cardin What's On His Mind: "I think things have gotten too extreme and out of hand."

Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center

Wisconsin Public Radio's Joy Cardin

Eastern Shores, Manitowoc-Calumet Library Systems Merger Talks Suspended

Suspension of Merger Investigation by Librarians. (The Library Connection, the Monthly Newsletter of the Eastern Shores Library System, May 2013)

The Study
As introduced by Sen. Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan):  Require the Department of Administration, in consultation with the Department of Public Instruction, to conduct a study of the public library systems to identify potential savings by
  • Consolidating regions 
  • Using technology 
  • Reducing duplications and inefficiencies 
  • Utilizing LEAN practices 
  • Increasing the sharing of services between library systems

The Report
Progress Report and Preliminary Recommendations.  SRLAAW Subcommittee,  Draft, : April 29, 2013

Related posts: 
Eastern Shores and Manitowoc-Calumet Library Systems Merger Talks Update.  (3/28/2013) 
Manitowoc-Calumet and Eastern Shores Continue Library Systems Merger Investigation. (3/4/2013)
Eastern Shores Library System explores merger possibilities.  (10/18/2012; includes document timeline from 6/4/2011 onward)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

NELS PA vs. 639622

Gomer Alert: Is There Any Politician Out There Saying Anything?

Oh, yeah!  A lotta stupid stuff!

Photo credit:  Wikimedia Commons

Senator Lindsey Graham Apparently Not Sure If Bloggers Deserve 'First Amendment Protection'.  (Techdirt, 6/6/2013)

What'd I Say?

Wisconsin lawmakers to avoid late-night debates. (Yahoo News, 1/10/2013)

Photo credit:  Wisconsin State Legislature

Fast forward to June 6, 2013

I'd like to dedicate this song to Robin.

Why Item #36 in the Omnibus Education Motion #538 Could Be Called the Hudson Option

Disclaimer:  I should probably note here that the opinions shared here are my own and not intended to be the official version of events.

Let's get everything lined up here.

First of all......

Omnibus motion.   One in which multiple requests, or, in this case, multiple changes and/or additions to a budget bill, are made in a single motion.

Omnibus Education Motion #538, passed by the Joint Finance Committee on a 12-4 party line vote that occurred later than this..
  1. State Support for K-12 Education and General School Aids
  2. Funding Level Lottery and Gaming Credit Reestimate. 
  3. General Aid Calculation for Consolidated School Districts 
  4. Revenue Limit Adjustment for Uncounted Open Enrollment Pupils 
  5. School Performance Incentive Grants
  6. Educator Effectiveness Evaluation System
  7. High Cost Transportation Aid
  8. Milwaukee and Racine Parental Choice Programs— Per Pupil Payments 
  9. Expansion of Parental Choice Program for Eligible School Districts 
  10. Parental Choice Programs — Certificate of Occupancy
  11. Parental Choice Programs — Building Usage Charge
  12. Parental Choice Programs — Summer School Payment
  13. Parental Choice Programs—Reserve Fund
  14. Parental Choice Programs— Annual Financial Reports
  15. Parental Choice Programs—Calculation of Educational Costs
  16. Parental Choice Programs— Teacher's Aide Proof of High School Diploma
  17. Parental Choice Programs— Additional Accrediting Agency
  18. Parental Choice Programs—Student Priority
  19. Parental Choice Programs— Maintaining School Accreditation
  20. Special Needs Scholarships
  21. Independent "2r" Charter School Program Reestimate
  22. Independent "2r" Charter School Per Pupil Payment Amount
  23. UW-Milwaukee "2r" Charter Schools
  24. Charter School Oversight Board
  25. Contract Provisions for Independent "2r" Charter Schools
  26. Contract Requirements for School District Sponsored Charter Schools
  27. Expand Part-Time Open Enrollment Program to Course Options Program
  28. Pupils Enrolled in Home-Based Private Educational Programs
  29. Charter School Authorizing Entity Duties
  30. Charter School Governing Boards
  31. Charter School Admissions.
  32. Converting Public Schools to Charter Schools
  33. Open Enrollment Per Pupil Transfer Amount.
  34. Work Based Learning Program School.
  35. National Forest Income
  36. County Library Levy Exemption for Joint Libraries.
  37. Energy Efficiency Revenue Limit Adjustment  
  38. Community Service Levy 
  39. School Accountability Report Cards
That's one crowded bus!

Now...I bet you're probably curious about #36.

Who is responsible for this particular item in the omnibus motion?  If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on Rep. Dean Knudson (R-Hudson), former mayor of the City of Hudson.

The Hudson Area Library's situation is the result of an error made for a number of years on the annual report submitted to the Department of Public Instruction, specifically with regard to the question, "Did your library's municipality exempt itself from the county library tax?"  The answer should have been "no".

Hudson Area Library Fixes Critical Error in Annual Report.  (Hudson Patch, 3/21/2012)

As a result, the City of Hudson's 2012 appropriation to the library was significantly below the minimum to exempt.   (The same is true of the other 3 participating municipalities:  the village of North Hudson and the townships of Hudson and St. Joseph.)

Rep. Knudson's magic wand to the rescue.  (At least this seems to be a safe assumption.)

Of course, the big irony here is it appears that we have the return of maintenance of effort for 28 public libraries in Wisconsin.  But the more item #36 rolls around inside my head, the more I think the final version of the statutory language will be very limited in its impact -- not much more than a "Hudson option".  I suspect that it will impact only those municipalities participating in joint libraries that fall below the minimum to exempt from the county library tax.  So if any "MOE' door is open, it will be a barely perceptible crack.  And I'm familiar with just two joint libraries, highlighted below, where this has been an issue.  (Not that they aren't any others.)

Anyway, the table below lists the 28 joint libraries in Wisconsin.

The dollar amounts in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 columns are the municipal appropriations as listed in the Wisconsin Public Library Service Data.  And as you can clearly see, the 2011 resident per capita support is all over the map.  (The 2011 statewide average is $40.81.)

ALEC's State Budget Reform Toolkit: "Asset Sale and Lease Opportunities"

See pages 34-37 for the particulars.

Step 1:  A real property inventory
  • What does the state own? 
  • Where is it located? 
  • What is the condition of what the state owns? 
  • What is the value of what the state owns? 
  • What is the best use of what the state owns?

Sidebar:  The two most common and effective ways of extracting value from government assets are
  • asset divestiture (the outright sale of government land or assets) and 
  • asset leases (long-term leases of public assets to private sector investor-operators)

Step 2:   The governor should commission a review to categorize all state-owned property and move toward asset divestiture and realignment opportunities.

Step 3:  Assemble a procurement team to prioritize asset lease opportunities 

Step 4:   Incentivize quick identification and disposal.

Step 5:  Contract with the private sector to conduct a market-value disposal of surplus property.

A bibliography lists two additional resources, both of which are published by Reason Foundation, which, according to its website, advances a free society by developing, applying, and promoting libertarian principles, including individual liberty, free markets, and the rule of law.

Republicans' 2013-15 State Budget PolicyFest, Part 2: Allowing Private Bail Bonds

Bail bondsmen, Lake Michigan among special-interest items in budget plan. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/5/2013)

Excerpt [with emphasis aded]:     Wednesday's package would create a bail bond system in Wisconsin for the first time in more than three decades. Five counties — Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha and Dane — would be part of a five-year pilot program for the system, with reports on the outcomes in those counties required. In 2018, the system would automatically expand statewide.

A "pilot program" is considered a test or a trial, something to be evaluated after a set period of time.  I guess the results are already in.

Who's for it?
Who's against it?
  • From J-S article:  Allowing private bail bonds has received near-uniform opposition from Wisconsin's judges, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies."
  • Jefferson County Circuit Judge Randy Koschnick, the chief judge of the 3rd Judicial Administrative District, a conservative who ran against Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson in 2009
  • Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association 
  • Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn

Republicans' 2013-15 State Budget PolicyFest, Part 1: Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Bail bondsmen, Lake Michigan among special-interest items in budget plan.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/5/2013)

Like petulant schoolchildren, the Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee passed a motion to require the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism to leave the UW-Madison campus.

What do Republicans have against the Center for Investigative Journalism?  (Capital Times, 6/5/2013)

The WCIJ receives no direct funding from the state.   They do, however, have an agreement with the UW School of Journalism and Mass Communication for the use of two room and to collaborate with professors in the journalism school.

Wisconsin Ranks 49th in Federal Reserve Bank's "Imperfect" Index

Imperfect, perhaps, but obviously not too far off the mark.

Fed index ranks Wisconsin 49th in economic outlook. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/5/2013)

Excerpt:   The most accurate reading of the state's employment trends show Wisconsin ranks at No. 44 in private-sector job creation in the most recent 12-month period. In the same time frame, also using accurate data, Wisconsin ranks as the nation's fifth worst in terms of the erosion in private-sector wages, in which the state's 2.2% decline is twice the rate of the national 1.1% average.

Related posts: 
Wishful thinking at WEDC.  (5/23/2013)
What alternative universe do these employers inhabit?  (5/21/2013)
Wisconsin Added 19,000 Jobs in 2012.  (5/18/2013)
Scott Walker all a-tingle over yesterday's news.  (5/18/2013)
From the looks of it, Wisconsin's jobs loss is in free fall.  (5/18/2013)
Spin Cycle: The Walker Administration Diverts Our Attention from the Latest (Disturbing) Jobs Numbers. (5/17/2013)
Bringing up the rear in job growth.  (3/8/2013)
Wisconsin ranks 43rd in job growth during the past year.  (11/23/2013)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sideways Library

Related posts: 
Madison Public Central Library: Henry and Fairchild Approaches.  (4/2/2013)
Progress report:  4th revised edition, abridged.  (2/28/2013)
Progress report:  3rd revised edition, abridged.  (1/15/2013)
Progress report:  3rd revised edition. (1/15/2013
Progress report, 2nd revised edition.  (11/3/2012)
Progress report.  (8/18/2012)
Work in progress. (6/5/2012)
Construction kickoff ceremony.  (3/28/2012)
Findorff awarded Madison Public Library construction contract.  (3/1/2012)
City of Madison to Rebid Central Library Project. (12/22/2011)
Madison Community Foundation awards $500,000 grant for new Madison Central Library.   (12/16/2011)
Retiring Guy takes a last look at the 1960s-era Madison Central Library.  (11/13/2011)
Madison Central Library prepares for move to temporary facility. (11/9/2011)
Madison Public Library misses cut on $4.5 million tax credit.  (9/14/2011)
Board to consider Plan B financing.  (9/1/2011)
Central library to relocate in November.  (7/27/2011)
Central library reconstruction project to proceed.  (4/29/2011)
Negotiations continue.  (4/27/2011)
Central library not a major issue with candidate or mayor Soglin. (4/19/2011)
Soglin wants to make sure ducks are in a row for Central Library Project.  (4/16/2011)
Latest design review.  (4/8/2011)
Midway Design presentation for Madison Central Library.  (2/25/2011)
Final design for renovated central library unveiled.  (12/8/2010)
Interview with principal architect of Central Library project.  (11/5/2010)
And the beat goes on.  (4/14/2010)

"Andrea's calm, yet reasoned personality "

From a Fox News Biography  (2 links)

Andrea Tartaros, a graduate of the Ann Coulter School of Shtick:  Bubbling Under the Hot 100.

The Best Advice Ever for Republican Neanderthals

E.W. Jackson, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Candidate, Says Yoga May Result In Satanic Possession. (Huffington Post, 6/5/2013)

The Chris Christie Option: No October Surprise Here

Special Election Timing in New Jersey Points to a Weak G.O.P. Field. (The New York Times, 6/4/2013)

Chris Christie's options
  1. Name a Republican to hold the seat and then delay an election on a replacement until 2014.
  2. Set a primary election as early as August, which would mean a special election in October.
  3. Schedule a November 2013 election, when Christie runs for re-election.
And the winner is.......

Option #2.

Christie Decides on October Vote for New Senator.   (The New York Times, 6/4/2013)

Big surprise, huh?

Waiting for the Annotated Version of "Brown Bear, Brown B ear, What Do You See?"

Bear’s Visit Keeps Children Inside and a Town Buzzing. (The New York Times, 6/4/2013)

A series of reports has the bear looking "bored", "reflective", "sad", and "confused".

The Most Fortunate of Wisconsin's Residents: Heading in the Right Direction and Leaving the Rest of Us Behind

What the tax cuts add up to by selected income levels.

Wisconsin  Budget Project reality check.  (Graphic based on tax cut proposal offered by Rep. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield)

And 68% of tax cuts go to the top 20% of wage earners.  Apparently, we have a new definition of "middle class".

Joint Finance makes adjustments to Kooyenga plan.

Tax cut, voucher expansion clear hurdles on way to final vote.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/5/2013)

Excerpt:  Walker in February proposed in his budget bill cutting income taxes by nearly $350 million over two years. Since then, revenue projections for the state have risen, leading Republican lawmakers to push for deeper tax cuts. 

A plan advanced by Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield), would have totaled $600 million a year when fully implemented in calendar year 2015. 

In the end, GOP leaders nearly doubled Walker’s tax cut but stopped short of the larger tax cut favored by Kooyenga. The tax cuts under their plan would be $651 million over two years.

Related posts:
More disproportionate tax cuts for the rich.  (6/4/2013)

$490,000,000: The Partial Cost of Republican Ideology to Wisconsin Taxpayers

JFC Approves Medicaid Plan Costing $490 Million More through FY 2020. (Wisconsin Budget Project, 6/4/2013)

Excerpt:With the added funding for hospitals (which is just for the 2013-15 biennium), the Governor’s plan is now expected to cost state taxpayers about $490 million GPR more during the period 2014 through fiscal year 2020, compared to the compromise offered by Democrats on the committee


Today’s addition of $30 million to the [budget] bill is an acknowledgment that the strategy of trying to move low-income adults from BadgerCare into the higher cost coverage in the new health insurance exchange will result in 
  • more uninsured Wisconsinites, 
  • less emphasis on preventative care, and 
  • higher costs for hospitals. 

Republicans happily use the tools provided for them by the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Related posts:
More cookie-cutter legislation from ALEC.  (4/7/2013)
The New York Times Provides an overview of school choice without mentioning ALEC's orchestration.  (3/28/2013)
Selling state properties:  It's in the ALEC toolkit.  (2/17/2013)
Performance funding: They love this stuff at the Lumina Foundation and ALEC. (11/19/2012)
Splashy full-page ad for a movie few want to see.  (9/30/2012)
AT&;T, ALEC have their way with South Carolina legislature.  (7/2/2012)
What the Koch Brothers left under Scott Walker's 2010 Christmas tree.  (6/19/2012)“
….really, what ALEC is, is a bipartisan association of state legislators….” (Wisconsin State Senate version, 4/10/2012)“
….really, what ALEC is, is a bipartisan association of state legislators….” (Wisconsin State Assembly version, 4/9/2012)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Gee Whiz! Republican Mouths Gone Wild

First Governor Bryant, Now Senator Chambliss.

Excerpt from news report accompanying video: Although Chambliss is decrying sexual assault in the military and saying he wants to do more to stop it, his comments echo the "boys will be boys" mentality that has been used throughout the years to dismiss sexual harassment and assault and avoid taking action to prevent them.

Saxby Chambliss:  A thoroughbred looney tune.

Related post:
Mississippi Republican Governor Phil Bryant on Education: "Do you want me to tell you the truth?" (6/4/2013)

A Busy Month at Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries

Related articles:
It's no April Fool: Expanded, simplified hours. (4/1/2013)
Library provides an incentive to take a survey.  (1/22/2013)
Lenoir "Lee" Kessler Jr. to Lead Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. (4/10/2012)
Library looking for mid-career corporate or nonprofit exec.  (3/15/2012)
In light of this coup, just how sustainable is funding for the library?  (12/7/2011)
What to do with Charlotte Mecklenburg's main library.  (11/13/2011)
Volunteering.  (6/24/2011)
County Manager proposes $3.26 million increase to library budget. (5/29/2011)
County Manager recommends a $2 million increase to CML budget.  (5/18/2011)
Most chilling fact to consider here.  (4/22/2011)
"Save our library" say Matthews residents.  (4/1/2011)
Charlotte Observer survey: Can you find $2 million in this budget to give to Mecklenburg libraries? (3/25/2011)
Task Force presents final report.  (3/22/2011)
Task Force to present report to joint meeting of Mecklenburg County Commission and Library Board.  (3/19/2011)
Task force walks on eggshells.  (3/17/2011)
Charlotte Mecklenburg 'Future of the Library Task Force' report to be aubmitted next week. (3/16/2011)
Recriminations? No. But you can't avoid the facts of the matter. (3/13/2011)
The battle of the branch libraries.  (3/8/2011)
Survey influences Charlotte Mecklenburg's Future of the Library Task Force. (3/5/2011)
$7.50 per household per year to keep 6 branch libraries open? Sounds reasonable to me.  (3/4/2011)
Up to 6 libraries could close under proposal.  (3/2/2011)
Tuesday vote of Future of Library Task Force likely.  (2/27/2011)
Future of the Library Task Force to release recommendations soon.  (2/8/2011)
Banker to lead Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.  (1/22/2011)
And what about the cost of a joint library-county study committee?  (12/22/2010)
The future does not look bright.  (12/9/2010)
Library boosts fines, fees.  (11/23/2010)
CML libraries and parks:  Survey says...  (10/26/2010)
Future of the library task force.  (10/21/2010)
Volunteers to the rescue.  (10/17/2010)
Charlotte Observer to Harry Jones:  Check your ego at the door.  (9/21/2010)
County manager regrets hitting the 'send' key. (9/18/2010)
Library steering committee veers into off-road territory.  (9/15/2010)
Bank of America and Carolina Panthers kick off library fundraising campaign. (9/14/2010)
Another branch extends hours thanks to volunteer support.  (9/12/2010)
Volunteers step up.  (9/10/2010)
2 branch libraries to open one more day per week.  (9/5/2010)
Library urban legend in the making?  (9/4/2010)
Library launches pilot program to expand hours with volunteers.  (8/31/2010)
Group to study county library merger.  (7/28/2010)
Book stores help out the library.  (7/21/2010)
Libraries hope to expand hours with volunteers at 4 branches.  (7/20/2010)
Another change in hours.  (7/18/2010)
Matthews branch library sends out plea for volunteers.  (7/13/2010)
Most county commissioners cool to sales tax hike.  (7/9/2010)
New hours in effect.  (7/6/2010)
Charlotte Observer editorial board laments the passing of the Novello Festival of the Book.  (6/28/2010)
Shuttered branch could  become Friends' used book store.  (6/25/2010)
A reduced future.  (6/23/2010)
Interlocal cooperation pact.  (6/22/2010)
Three branches close.  (6/19/2010)
Town of Mint Hill perspective.  (6/18/2010)
Five towns tentatively OK $730,000 for libraries.  (6/18/2010)
Carmel, two other branches to close.  (6/16/2010)
Now that the ax has fallen.  (6/16/2010)
Commissioners to vote on budget today.  (6/15/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries:  It's complicated.  (6/9/2010)
Mayor wins straw vote at emotional council meeting.  (6/7/2010)
Editorial:  Should city 'stay in its lane' on libraries.  (6/4/2010)
County commissioners restore some cuts to libraries.  (6/4/2010)
Straw votes begin on Mecklinburg County budget.  (6/3/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries continue to look for one-time financial help.  (5/31/2010)
High school junior speaks out eloquently for libraries.  (5/30/2010)
Mayor Foxx on the art of governing.  (5/30/2010)
Mayor supports financial help for library.  (5/27/2010)
County budget:  Oh, yeah, this is fair.  (5/25/2010)
Bailout proposal not gaining traction.  (5/23/2010)
Library trustees vote to close 4 branches.  (5/20/2010)
Mecklenburg County tightens its belt.  (5/20/2010)
County manager cuts $14.7 million from library budget.  (5/18/2010)
2010-11 Mecklenburg County budget to be unveiled today.  (5/18/2010)
North Carolina woman plans on "going straight to the top" to keep Charlotte libraries open.  (5/16/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg officials ask local municipalities for $3 million contribution.  (4/30/2010
Library Board chair speaks out.  (4/25/2010)
County commissioners seek ways to ease library cuts.  (4/23/2010)
Mecklenburg County needs to reduce $85-90 million deficit.  (4/16/2010)
County manager takes library board to task.  (4/10/2010)
Libraries now open fewer hours.  (4/6/2010)
"Save Our Libraries Sunday".  (3/29/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg users owe average of 55 cents in fines.  (3/27/2010)
Library announces new hours for branches.  (3/26/2010)
Library Board applies a Band-Aid to its bleeding system.  (3/25/2010)
Follow-up on Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board vote.  (3/25/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board votes to keep all branches open.  (3/24/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board presented with 2 budget-cutting alternatives.  (3/24/2010)
More and bigger cuts looming on horizon. (3/23/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library System Rethinks Closings. (3/22/2010)
A New Day is Dawning in Charlotte/Mecklenburg County. (3/21/2010)

Mississippi Republican Governor Phil Bryant on Education: "Do you want me to tell you the truth?"

Mississippi governor: Educational troubles began when ‘mom is in the workplace’. (Washington Post, 6/4/2013)

From Bryant's biography. Bryant has a long history of fighting for conservative beliefs like lower taxes and traditional values. During his service in the Mississippi House of Representatives, he served as vice chairman of the Insurance Committee and authored the Capital Gains Tax Cut Act of 1994.

Yeah, good ol' traditional values like tax cuts for the rich.

Not the first time Bryant gone all expansive on us.

Seattle Public Library Sets the Book Domino Chain World Record (Confirmation Pending

2131 Books.

27 Volunteers.

112 Slices of Pizza.

7 hours of set-up.

Made it on the 5th try.

Decatur Illinois & the Double Whammy of Falling Home Values and Reduced Tax Revenue

Decatur library gets city loan; but long-term solution may be painful. (Decatur Herald-Review, 6/4/2013)

Excerpt: Library officials set the library’s expenses, but the city council controls how much money the library receives from property taxes. The council cut that amount by $390,000 in 2009 when the recession struck and has kept it flat at $3 million since then.

With the added element of long-term population loss.

Related articles:
The Atlanta housing meltdown continues. (2/2/2012)
Housing Prices Continue to Fall in Major U.S. Cities. (1/25/2011)
On the basis of this trend, urban libraries will certainly be tightening their belts again next year.  (12/28/2010)
The property tax domino effect (Atlanta metro area). (12/27/2010)
National League of Cities research brief on America's cities.  (10/7/2010)

More Disproportionate Tax Cuts for the Rich

60% of tax cuts would go to those earning more than $100,000, report says. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/3/2013)

Excerpt: A married couple with adjusted gross income of between $50,000 and $60,000 a year under the tax plan would receive a tax cut of $90 in 2014 and $150 in 2015. Married taxpayers making more than $300,000 a year would receive an average cut of $1,627 in 2014 and $2,584 in 2015.

I always like to see how these kind of numbers look on a column graph.

In other column graph news.
It's falling

The median household income in 2009 was $49,777.  This amount serves as a dividing line between two equal groups, i.e., those households having an income less than $49,777 and those having an income more than $49,777.

About 20% of households have an income of $100,000 or more.

In other words, most of the tax cuts will benefit the highest 5th of households.   (This 20% of households takes in 50% of all income.)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Time to Fix the Roof at the Bangor Public Library

Frank Lasee Compares Apples (El-Hi Public Education Costs) to Oranges (Public Higher Education Tuition)

Lasee's Notes.  "Twelve and a half thousand dollars per kid".  May 31, 2013

Excerpt:  Wisconsin spends $11 billion dollars for public education every year. $5 billion comes from property taxes, $5 billion from state income taxes, and $1 billion from federal taxes. $11 billion dollars is not enough for some – they want more!

About half of your property taxes go to support public schools. When you add that to state and federal funding, we spend about $12,500 per student annually. Wisconsin spends about $1,000 more per student than our neighbors in Minnesota, Illinois & Michigan.

$12,500 is more than UW-Madison students pay in tuition ($10,000) and a lot more than students at UW-Milwaukee ($9,000) and UW Superior ($8,000) pay for their tuition. $12,500 is even more than medical school tuition at UW Madison!

Time out.  A couple of red flags (emblazoned with fruit?) went up as I read these "notes".

First off, I have no idea where Lasee cherry-picked the $12,500.  Guess it just makes a better headline.

Education Spending Per Student Fell For First Time in 2011, from Governing, 5/21/2013, to which Lasee provides a link.   Did he not check the table?

These are the most recent education spending per student figures available.

Wisconsin ranks 15th overall

And secondly, it's common knowledge that tuition doesn't cover the full cost of a college education.  In other words, what a student pays for tuition at a public university isn't comparable to a state's per student el-hi education funding.

Students and States Near a 50-50 Split on the Cost of Public Higher Education.  (The Chronicle of Higher Education, 3/6/2013)

Excerpt:   Net tuition revenue made up 47 percent of public colleges' educational costs in 2012, an increase of more than six percentage points from the previous year, according to an annual report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers. 

In 1987, the report says, net tuition revenue accounted for just 23 percent of those costs. In 2001 tuition was a little more than a third of the costs.

Moot Points Now

Schumer endorses Lautenberg 2014 re-election.  (PolitickerNJ, 11/6/2011)

Excerpt:   "One more thing, we absolutely want him to run again; we hope he continues to run for one more term," said Schumer at the tail end of his remarks at the Stony Hill Inn in Hackensack.

Frank Lautenberg, 5-Term Senator From New Jersey, Dies at 89. (The New York Times, 6/3/2013)

Looking at the Building and Space Needs of the Ellsworth Public Library

A Statistical Look at the Ellsworth Public Library, 1996-2011
Source: :  Wisconsin Public Library Service Data