There has been a great debate raging in Kansas about how much taxpayer money should be devoted to public education. A ruling was recently handed down by the Kansas Supreme Court which stated that the current amount of public education spending was much too lower according to the state’s constitution. Governor Sam Brownback has been trying to cut the amount spent on public education for quite some time. Therefore, this ruling did not make him very happy. However, he has vowed to continue his attempts to cut taxes in a wide variety of areas.
The court cited the low amount of spending had a severe impact on the educations received by students who are poor, Hispanic or black. The evidence that they mentioned in their ruling was the low graduation rates and bad test scores in these demographics throughout the entire state of Kansas. A deadline of June 30th was set by the court for new public education funding methods to be created. It remains to be see where lawmakers will get the money needed to appease the court’s latest ruling.
One of the things that was interestingly left out of the court’s ruling was the specific amount of money that they require to be directed to the state’s public schools. However, even a tiny amount will be tough to scrape together at this point. The budget in Kansas currently is well into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Needless to say, directing an amount of money to public schools that will have a meaningful impact will be a tough challenge for even the wisest of lawmakers.
Governor Brownback’s administration was been based on cutting taxes. This approach has put him at odds with his fellow Republicans. Only time will tell if he will keep going down the same path when even people in his own party are no longer supporting him.