Opinion Columns & Blogs

Brownback vs. the Topeka board of education?

Topeka school officials view state funding for education as a new civil rights battle. Beryl New, the principal at Highland Park High School, told the Boston Globe that the issue now isn’t blatant racism but economic inequality. “If your parents can’t afford to buy a house in a privileged area, you just have to take whatever public education can offer,” she said. Topeka superintendent Julie Ford lamented that the block-grant school funding bill caused her district to eliminate summer school for elementary and middle schools, freeze most hiring and cancel $1 million worth of textbook purchases. Asked by the Globe what she would ask the governor if she had a single question, Ford said: “How do you sleep at night? Seriously. Seriously. I’m a Kansan, and I can’t sleep at night seeing what is happening to my state.” – Phillip Brownlee