Well it’s the day after the big Kansas education announcement. For this episode of Broke Kansas, I suggest instead of popping popcorn and pulling up for a nice read, you grab yourself a stiff drink. I’m not going to sugarcoat anything here. In staying with school spirit, I’m giving this blog post the grade of D. D stands for downer, depressing, difficult, disaster, dangerous…..
I think you get my drift. Well grab whatever you mixed up in a glass and settle in for this read.
Brownback said he would reduce aid to public schools by $28 million, dropping base state aid by nearly $42 per student. The reduction would come after lawmakers last year boosted aid to poor school districts to comply with a Kansas Supreme Court order in a 2010 lawsuit filed by parents and school districts. The remainder of the $45 million in education cuts would come from higher education. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2015/feb/05/kansas-governor-announces-cuts-public-schools-high/
So he’s cutting everything everywhere – from K through the end of education. If it requires a book, even a coloring book, it’s getting cut. Rich districts, poor districts – it doesn’t matter. Everybody is getting hit.
Who is to blame?
Governor Brownback is to blame. We all know he gambled on implementing massive tax cuts. If they were successful he would be running an exciting campaign for the presidency against Jeb Bush. The tax cuts weren’t successful and now other high-profile Republicans can’t get far enough away from him.
Who else is to blame? The Kansas voters. They re-elected him or correction – let him be re-elected by not voting. There is a petition right now to get Brownback thrown out of office. I applaud the effort, I really do, but it’s never going to happen. No amount of petitions or signatures is getting this guy thrown out of office. If it makes you feel better then sign it, but don’t hold your breath that it’s going to make a damn bit of difference. He is not going anywhere.
So now what?
We wait and see how the districts respond. They have some tough work to do. They are going to have to trim from the top down first and then probably valuable programs like music, art and theater will end up being cut. Public education will ultimately suffer in Kansas. Parents with the means will pull their children out of public school and put them in private school. The divide in Kansas between the haves and have nots will grow.
Kansas public education has always been something this state has been proud of. When I moved back to the area I had a choice of which side of the state line I decided to live on. I picked Kansas. Why? Because I was going to start a family and the quality of education was a deciding factor. Cuts like these could greatly impact the quality of education. People like me moving to the area could see the education crisis our state is in and decide not to choose Kansas – all because Brownback gambled with our state and this is the result.
I left out one D when describing this blog post – defeated…..