Two Kansas school districts plan to end the academic year early to save money, citing financial pressures caused by Koch Brothers shill Governor Sam Brownback’s radical budget.
Kansas school districts are facing massive budget shortfalls after losing $51 million they were expected to receive for the current school year. Governor Brownback’s misguided revamp of the income tax code has given billionaires and businesses a tax break while slashing school spending. The new school funding plan scraps the previous formula for determining state aid and replaces it with block grants, which will give districts a fixed amount of money for the next two years while the Legislature develops a new formula.
Governor Brownback’s extreme legislation was copied right out of the Koch playbook. It’s hardly surprising given that the governor is advised by Koch crony Steve Anderson.
According to ThinkProgress, the consequences of spending cuts have been dire for Kansan students. “The result is that total schools funding has been basically flat in inflation-adjusted terms ever since Brownback took over, despite a larger portion of all public education spending coming from the state level in his tenure. And with the block-granting move this spring, Brownback essentially pulled the plug on the complicated funding formula that is supposed to ensure more-or-less equitable funding for educating kids in both rich and poor districts.”
As the economy continues to recover, other states have been able to reinvest increased tax revenues in K-12 education. But according to the Center for Policy and Budget Priorities, from 2008 to 2014, Kansas has cut per-pupil spending by $950. Things are only growing worse for Kansan students as the state Supreme Court ruled in January that the state’s funding for schools in unconstitutionally low.
The Kochs will scramble to protect their investment in Governor Brownback. But who will protect Kansans from the effects of the Koch agenda?