In defense of his decision Thursday to cut funding this year for K-12 education, Gov. Sam Brownback highlighted how the Kansas City, Kan., school district is spending $48,000 on a grand piano for its Sumner Academy, a high-achieving high school with a focus on the arts. A Kansas City Star editorial earlier this week strongly defended the expenditure. “Replacing a worn-out instrument that has served, for better or worse, for decades is part of the cost of doing education,” the editorial said. “It’s not a luxury item to be deleted because Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and state legislators have ravaged funding for schools. And, as one state legislator has noted, it’s really a capital expense, a piece of equipment expected to be used daily and to last 20 or 30 years or more.” – Phillip Brownlee
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