School ruling – The Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling that the Legislature’s latest school financing scheme is unconstitutional should surprise no one. Gov. Sam Brownback and lawmakers invited the legal critique last year when they scrapped the state’s education funding formula, ignored recommendations on how much money schools would need, and adopted a more stingy and less flexible “block grant” method that immediately caused hardships for many districts.
The school finance decision by the Kansas Supreme Court prompted a slew of news releases and written statements, an onslaught of opinions and complaints. While that is understandable, the time for complaining has passed and the time for action has arrived. Difficult decisions on how to fund our schools lie ahead. Those decisions will not, and should not, be made quickly, but they must be made by the men and women elected to make difficult decisions.
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The high court’s job is to interpret the law. Kansas law requires the state to provide adequate, equitable educational opportunities for all students. Gov. Sam Brownback’s forces don’t care, and will gin up attacks on justices up for retention in hopes of eventually getting their way. Reasonable Kansans, on the other hand, shouldn’t fall for it.
The Brownback administration and his legislative minions may have in mind a dismantling of public education. But the court took the right step, a first step, to preserve good public schools as we know them.
AFP mailers – The group Americans for Prosperity and its machine of misinformation is at it once again, this time with a mailer sent out in the districts of state Rep. Steve Becker, R-Buhler, and Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, chastising them for their real or perceived support of Medicaid expansion. Instead of offering real facts about the pros and cons of accepting a federal expansion of Medicaid, AFP once again has relied on its method of partial, distorted and out-of-context statements to “educate” voters about the issues.