Friday, July 08, 2011

All Quiet on the Shutdown Front. Nothing new being generated on the shutdown front thus far today. It's probably more instructive to turn our eyes to Washington, D.C., and note that the latest jobs report appears to have emboldened the "no new taxes" group as they are pointing to continued sluggish growth on the jobs front to decry efforts being made by President Obama to construct a comprehensive budget proposal that would raise the debt ceiling, cut government expenditures, and raise some taxes. The news on jobs will likely stunt that effort, which in turn, will stunt any proposal to raise taxes in Minnesota as part of our budget solution.

Here's a story on the latest in the national discussion from The Huffington Post:

A lot of folks go out of their way to trash Arriana Huffington and her journalistic endeavor (and yeah, it leans a bit to the left), but the site is timely and well-written.

Ad Wars. MinnPost ran an interesting article today about the ads that are popping up on television, radio, and billboards that aim to apportion blame for the current shutdown. It's difficult to tell whether the ads will make much of a difference in bringing the shutdown to conclusion, but my guess is there will be some hard feelings simmering all the way into next year's election as a result of them.

An Interesting Enterprise. Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school board member Kevin Sampers stopped by my office this week to demonstrate his new web-based business Naiku. Naiku is a technology-based assessment program that helps students, teachers, and administrators find ways to promote both higher levels of achievement and more effective means of staff development. It's a very interesting approach to a number of challenges facing school districts and from the looks of it could serve as a very effective tool to bring together student achievement and teacher evaluation in a way that is far less cumbersome than a number of the proposals currently being discussed.

Here's a link to the Naiku website:

Clarification on a Story from Yesterday. It didn't strike me until this morning, but it looks like the "third way" panel headed that released its recommendations yesterday is advocating for a 90%/10% payment schedule for school aids. I don't know that for sure, but the recommendations called for $3.6 billion in cuts and $1.4 billion in new revenue and didn't specify whether the 70%/30% shift level proposed by the Governor in his budget and approved by the Legislature in its K-12 funding bill should be adopted. What makes me think the group wants to remain at 90%/10% is that it specifically decried further use of accounting gimmicks and shifts.

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