Big news hit yesterday when a three judge court decision came down yesterday about Kansas school funding. First, I want to thank the judges for issuing the 100 plus page ruling and providing me with an opportunity for a long, overdue nap.
In case you would like to catch up on some zzzz’s here is a link to the ruling:
There were a lot of people smarter than me analyzing the heck out of this ruling yesterday. I read all of their analysis and in my expert opinion, the ruling comes down to these four words for our Kansas Legislature-
FUND THE DAMN SCHOOLS
Let me say it again in case that was too confusing.
I hope we are crystal clear now. I’ve never been great at beating around the bush.
Now we all know there is a formula that is applied to figure out how much the schools need to be funded. Now that the ruling has come down that the legislature needs to fund the schools to the Constitutional level, the rumor is that the legislature is going to CHANGE the formula. Basically in this scenario, the legislature is the snakey ex-husband who is forced by the courts to pay child support based on his income from his current job. In an effort to get out of it, the ex-husband quits his job.
Let’s say for shits and grins that the Kansas Legislature decides not to change the formula and instead decides to do the honorable thing and fund our schools. The 2nd obvious question is where is the money coming from? If memory serves, Governor Brownback’s tax cuts have left our great state resembling my bank account – dead broke. I turn my attention to Shawn Sullivan or S2 my favorite Budget Director and person that I still claim has the worst job E-V-E-R for answers. S2 told me and the twitterverse yesterday that the new budget is coming out January 16th. I asked him for an early birthday present (my birthday is 1/7) for an early preview. The tease that he is told me and everyone else that we would have to wait.
Even though I have great faith in S2, I have a hard time believing that his budget magic is going to come up with the money to fully fund our schools and come up with the $200 bazzillion dollars we are still in debt to cover other vital programs in our state. (Ok – maybe it isn’t really a bazzillion dollars, but after $100 million what difference does it make?)
So who is up a for a bake sale to fund our children’s education? Lemon bars anyone?