Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

This past weekend, Topeka turned into what can only be described as something equivalent to something you would see on reality television as the House and Senate debated Education Funding.  The Real Representatives of Topeka was only one table flip away from being picked up by Andy Cohen as a new fall hit.

It finally passed, but only after a very, very late night session on Saturday and again running late into the evening on Sunday.

The big take away….Kansas doesn’t tolerate bullies unless they are from our own legislature.  Then it is A-Ok!

The situation is pretty simple.  The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that Kansas was underfunding our schools.  The KS Supreme Court gave the legislature until July 1st to comply with funding our schools at the appropriate levels.

One would think that would be a pretty simply solution. Underfunding equals more funding.  So what’s all the drama about?

Well, our more extreme Kansas Republicans decided that they weren’t going to fund schools at the full level without a series of demands.  Wait what?  But I thought the KS Supreme Court said to fund Kansas schools?  They did, but the Kansas GOP decided there were some things that they wanted changed.  Sounds like of like a kidnapper listing out a series of demands before letting the victim go.  In this case, the victims are our children.

The Kansas GOP decided to do away with stuff that they didn’t like in the current system – more vouchers and tax breaks for private schools and getting rid of due process for teachers that has been in existence since 1957.

Warning – if I see even one campaign ad from these clowns that says they are pro-education and pro-children this fall I’m going to throw my flat screen out the window.

We can continue asking what’s the matter with Kansas, but it is painfully obvious.  The problem with Kansas is bullies.  Whether it’s this type of hostage taking education funding or the other measures I have been writing about this season, the Kansas GOP believes that they reign supreme.  One day they are nullifying federal and local gun ordinances, the next day they are opting out of the Affordable Healthcare Act in favor of a hypothetical healthcare compact that doesn’t even exist.  Now they are gutting some basic rights our teachers have negotiated into their contracts or they won’t fund Kansas kids.

What can we do now?  Continue to focus all of our efforts to get extremism out of Kansas.  Vote next fall for moderate Kansans both Democrat and Republican.  There are sane and rational people living in Kansas.  Lets not continue to let this extremism reign supreme.

Today I wear red to support Kansas teachers.  I have a child in Kansas public schools and I can say that the dedication that teachers show on a daily basis is amazing.  Kansas schools continue to be an excellent resource for educating future Kansas leaders regardless of what the Kansas House and Senate have attempted to do.  I applaud all Kansas teachers for their hard work and dedication to our children.

I have a feeling this drama is far from over, however, the House and Senate have adjourned until April 30.  Thank goodness. I need a break….


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