Education

Kansas Schools Closing Early Because Brownback is Choking Them

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Two school districts in Kansas will be closing early this year because they simply do not have enough money to stay open thanks to the Brownback administration.

From The Wichita Eagle:

The Concordia school district will release students May 15, rather than May 21. And the Twin Valley School District, which includes Bennington and Tescott, will dismiss May 8, rather than May 20.

This is the really good (or bad) part:

Kansas school districts are facing financial pressures after losing $51 million they expected to receive for the current school year after Gov. Sam Brownback signed a school funding overhaul bill in March. [...]

Asked about the cuts at a news conference Thursday, Brownback said he thought Concordia would have had to make the changes absent the funding overhaul because its reserves were low and it lost funding this year under the previous formula.

Thanks for the help, Sam.

In December of last year the Shawnee County District Court sided with a group of school districts that sued the state, ruling that the state's funding of public education was unconstitutional because it did not adequately provide for all students. The court and attorneys representing the school districts recommended that the state increase funding for schools on a per-student basis for an overall total increase of between "$548 to $771 million" per year.

At the time the Brownback administration vowed to work with the state legislature to resolve the court's ruling, but he didn't. In fact, Brownback pushed through a plan to cut education funding even more by turning it into a block grant system; a system that is now starving school districts and forcing them to close early.

Nobody could have predicted.

[Twin Valley] Board members said in a news release that the district was having difficulty withstanding “the present mid-year, unplanned financial cuts recently signed into law.”

Whoever the Republican nominee is in 2016, they will be running on a platform of implementing the Kansas model in all 50 states.

Kansas is facing massive revenue shortfalls because of the governor's plan to gradually eliminate income taxes, a plan that has already lead to a revenue shortfall of $1 billion over the next two years.

The first officially declared Republican presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, is running on a platform that calls for implementing a flat tax the likes of which Governor Sam Brownback is in the process of testing on the state of Kansas.