Opinion Columns & Blogs

No educators or media allowed at signing of schools bill

Office of the Governor

There was something Kremlin-like about the way Gov. Sam Brownback signed the two-year block-grant funding bill for schools on Wednesday – in a private ceremony surrounded only by a few GOP legislators and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, and without an educator, student or reporter in sight. Nobody but Brownback and the select supporters even knew the signing had occurred until an announcement hours later. One would expect the achievement of a goal set in Brownback’s State of the State speech would merit more hoopla, especially when the bill marked the end of the school-finance formula that Kansas had operated under since the mid-’90s. Perhaps the governor was afraid of hard questions about the bill, which reduces operational funding to many districts including Wichita, will aggravate inequities among districts and was hurried through over the strong objections of everybody but conservative activists. – Rhonda Holman