Kansans who care about public schools must keep holding Gov. Sam Brownback accountable for the damage he’s done.
We learned Wednesday, June 11, that a three-judge panel in Topeka ruled funding to help poor, rural school districts had been put right under order from the Kansas Supreme Court. Future hearings will determine whether the state is providing enough money overall to its public schools.
That means Kansans who want the best possible education for the next generation must keep up efforts to hold Gov. Sam Brownback accountable for the damage he’s done to our schools.
Brownback called it “a victory for Kansas” when he made the largest cut to school funding in the state’s history.
In his first budget, Brownback cut base state aid per pupil by $232 over two years* — the state’s largest-ever single cut to school funding. The result? Overcrowded classrooms. Increased fees and other costs for students’ families. Reductions to arts and special education. While other states are investing in schools as the economy turns around, we lose ground here in Kansas because Brownback doesn’t value public education.
Brownback’s own budgets created an imbalance in funding for poorer, rural school districts. When the court declared in March that that funding was unconstitutional, Brownback blamed previous governors for the problem. But the budgets the court was talking about had risen in the two years before Brownback took office. His first budget cut those funds by 12 percent. And he’s left it there since.*
WHEN SAM BROWNBACK CUTS SCHOOL FUNDING, HE CUTS KANSAS.
*Figures cited from fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2014 Governor’s Budget Reports.