Economy Education Taxes

After Court Says Kansas School Budget is “Inadequate,” Gov. Brownback Will Cut Education Even More


Although a district court recently ruled that Kansas’ school budget is unconstitutional, it appears that Governor Sam Brownback is poised to cut school funding even further to plug holes in the state budget generated by his signature tax cuts.

But they aren’t calling it a “cut.” They’re referring to it as “limiting growth.”

From the Wichita Eagle

Although the budget will include what he called revenue enhancements, [chief of staff] Hummel said the bulk of the administration’s proposals would focus on curbing spending. “It’s not so much cutting spending as limiting the growth in spending,” he said. […]

School finance will be part of our budget conversation,” Hummel said. “The governor feels like the growth in spending that’s occurred the last several years in school finance is unsustainable. He’s going to encourage them (the Legislature) to look at ways to do that, to address that. There’s different ways to do it. You could reform the current system or you go to a completely new system.”

Earlier this month the Shawnee County District Court ruled that the state’s education budget is “inadequate from any rational perspective,” saying that the current budget is “not presently reasonably calculated” to account for the needs of all students.

After the ruling Brownback’s office said it would work with the state legislature to resolve the situation, but apparently what he had in mind was not among the recommendations of the court.

The court suggested that the state increase funding for schools on a per-pupil basis while Brownback’s chief of staff now says the state spends too much on education.

Education aside, the “revenue enhancements” the Brownback administration is reportedly considering do not include rolling back the governor’s signature income tax cuts; the primary source of the problem.

No. Of course not. Why would we admit failure by rolling back our disastrous tax cuts?

The “revenue enhancements” the governor’s office is allegedly considering include, but are not limited to, raising sales taxes and increasing taxes on alcohol. Raising sales taxes is effectively a tax on the working class and the poor who can ill afford it.

Sam Brownback was just reelected. There’s plenty more where this came from and in two years time, when Democrats will inevitably find themselves running against the Paul Ryan budget, again, we will have a real-time example of what conservative economic theory looks like in practice.