Tax Cut Magic: Kansas Schools Will Start Closing Early This Week

The time has come and public schools in Kansas will begin closing early this week because Governor Sam Brownback and the legislature decided to cut their budgets in the middle of a school year to plug holes in the state budget generated by Brownback's signature tax cuts.

“We felt we didn’t have a choice,” said Janet Neufeld, superintendent of Twin Valley schools, which will end the academic year on Friday, 12 days early. [...]

“There have been times when things were tight, but this is the absolute worst I’ve ever seen it,” said Mike Sanders, superintendent of Skyline Public Schools, which will end the school year two days early on May 12.

“It’s crazy times,” Sanders said. “The ideology in this tax experiment has gone too far. It’s almost as if they’re hell-bent on proving their point, no matter the damage it causes.”

Young students may welcome their early departure, but for public schools to close early because they simply do not have enough money to continue operating is unconscionable.

You may recall that a district court ruled in January of this year that the state's education budget was unconstitutional because it did not adequately provide for every student.

Brownback's office vowed to rectify the problem, but they only made it worse. Rather than increase funding, the governor and the legislature cut education even more and converted the entire education funding system into a block grant program.

But as bad as things appear to be now, it's only going to get worse. Lawmakers are facing another $800 million hole in the state budget that begins with the next fiscal year and there is no consensus on whether or not they should stop digging.