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Eagle editorial: School-finance bill disrespects teachers

April 15 at 5:31 p.m.

Since the school-finance bill that eroded teacher rights passed both chambers of the Legislature on April 6, some GOP leaders have argued that provision doesn’t do what it does. Did they know what they were voting for or not? Either way, that’s poor lawmaking worthy of embarrassment as well as a veto.

  • Eagle editorial: Hearts heavy after shooting

    The Kansas City area was suffering enough worry and heartache from the recent highway shootings. Then came Sunday, when a gunman seemingly took out his hate, intolerance and ignorance on two Jewish facilities in Johnson County, murdering three people.

  • Eagle editorial: Not all benefit from state tax cut

    Kansans rushing to complete their state tax returns by Tuesday’s deadline might be in for a surprise. Though tax rates declined as part of Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax cuts, some deductions and credits were reduced or eliminated, meaning that some people could end up paying more or getting back less.

  • Kansas views on due process, court authority, health-club bill

    Due process – An amendment to the school-funding bill that eliminates teacher due-process rights was backed by the conservative special-interest group Americans for Prosperity. Jeff Glendening, AFP’s state director, said the change wasn’t about “protecting the institutions or the labor union. It’s about protecting our kids.” We’re not buying it.

  • Eagle editorial: School aid no windfall

    Though the school-funding bill that passed the Legislature last weekend costs more than $130 million, it is not a huge windfall for many school districts, including Wichita. More than half of that total goes to lowering local property taxes, not boosting school district budgets.

  • Eagle editorial: Funding bill erodes court’s authority

    While Kansans were focused on the twists and turns of school finance last week, lawmakers made an unnecessary and historic change in how the state’s district courts operate, coercively tying the reforms to badly needed funding.

  • Eagle editorial: Ensure city’s water supply

    At least the Wichita City Council has options for ensuring the quality and quantity of the city’s water supply. By picking the most cost-effective path now, city leaders can stave off the unthinkable day when Wichita lacks not only water but also affordable access to more.

  • Eagle editorial: Senior citizens need to rise up against health care compact

    Kansas senior citizens need to rise up and demand that Gov. Sam Brownback veto a bill that could put the state in charge of Medicare. And during elections later this year, seniors – and other voters – should hold lawmakers accountable for supporting such a radical reform.

  • Eagle editorial: Shame on Legislature

    Shame on the GOP leaders of the Kansas Legislature for using a Kansas Supreme Court order on school-funding inequities as an excuse to undermine teachers’ rights and meddle in education policymaking.

  • Kansas views on gun bill, budget problems, prairie chicken, RPS, police records, college merger

    Gun bill – State lawmakers seized an opportunity to try to outlaw local control over carrying of guns in public. But the state should exercise care when telling cities and counties how to handle matters related to public safety. No two communities are the same, after all.

  • Eagle editorial: ‘No future without water’

    The jury is still out on much of Gov. Sam Brownback’s first term, as well as the certainty of a second. But hopes continue to build that his legacy will include preserving and protecting Kansas’ water supply far into the century.

  • Eagle editorial: So much for local control

    GOP legislators who actually believe in local control should be added to the threatened species list. There are fewer of them in Topeka than lesser prairie chickens on the Great Plains.

  • Eagle editorial: Keep funding fix simple

    Rather than keep it simple in responding to the Kansas Supreme Court’s school-finance ruling, the Legislature seems intent on making matters worse for many districts. Kansans have to hope that as the favored bills go to the full House and Senate on Thursday, reason and fairness will prevail.

  • Eagle editorial: Step up scrutiny at jail

    The 2012 GOP primary for Sedgwick County sheriff was a referendum on problems at the jail, including a detention deputy accused of sex crimes against inmates. Now, after new charges, the responsibility to rebuild public trust falls squarely on the victor in that election, Sheriff Jeff Easter.

  • Eagle editorial: Wildlife, conservation bills send bad message

    Balancing property rights and wildlife protection isn’t easy, but some state leaders seem eager to discount science and go to court. Kansas cannot afford to do either.

  • Kansas views on renewable energy, ALEC, party switching, threatened species, Phelps

    Renewable energy – There is yet some courage in the Kansas House of Representatives, and it was on full display Wednesday when its members refused to go along with the Kansas Senate’s repeal of a renewable energy standard that has been in place since 2009.

  • Eagle editorial: Poverty affecting schools

    The “Road Map for Kansas” that Sam Brownback drafted as a candidate for governor in 2010 set a goal of reducing the number of children living in poverty while boosting reading scores and other achievement. As the Legislature works toward a school-funding fix, it’s sobering to realize how much the deepening need among the state’s families is affecting the state’s schools.

  • Eagle editorial: Medicaid expansion helps mentally ill

    Gov. Sam Brownback has been talking recently about the need to provide better care for the mentally ill. But if he really wants to help, he should stop blocking the federal expansion of Medicaid, which would enable thousands of Kansans to receive mental health treatment in their communities.

  • Eagle editorial: Slots bill anti-democratic

    One needn’t be pro-gaming to be stunned by the Kansas Senate’s approval of a bizarre, anti-democratic bill to prevent Sedgwick County from holding another vote on gambling until 2032.

  • Eagle editorial: End the secrecy in police records

    To its credit, the Kansas House voted overwhelmingly to unseal affidavits used by police to justify arrest warrants – a move to bring more transparency to government. But to its discredit, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted last week to keep these records secret. Then this week, Senate leadership said it would not allow debate on the issue on the Senate floor.

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