The Kansas Legislature has increased school funding every year since 2008. Often, when more money from State goes in, your local government likes to cuts property taxes to make themselves look good, so the classrooms aren't the beneficiaries. The schools are sitting on money piles in "rainy day" funds they claim they can't spend on classrooms. Administration calls high drama, all staff meetings, scare them, make staff go part-time and blame the Governor. And administrators never tell them what the local school board is actually spending money on.
Yes, there's a deficit. The Legislature cut income taxes and didn't cut spending with it. Absolutely asinine. You can't cut your income and not cut expenses. Agencies SHOULD be tasked with full audits and figure out how to function more efficiently. The lowly staff in these agencies are insisting there's waste and trying to be whistleblowers.
K-12s lobbyists won't talk to the legislators and have flat out told leadership "no matter what you give us, it won't be enough. We both know I'm here to demand more."
This Kansas Republican feels awful for the teachers, librarians, nurses and food service coordinators. They are pawns of the teachers unions. Everyone making these decisions wants POWER. The unions want power. Legislators want power and headlines. And they're all playing a reprehensible game with our children's brains.
I'm not saying the Legislature is perfect. But this "schools are closing" crap is out there because the KS Supreme Court said they'd order the schools closed if they don't see "more" school spending. KS Supreme Court- you don't have that power. Go back to Constitutional Law and quit scaring teachers. I know you hate Republicans, but your antics are unbecoming.
There's a leadership vacuum in Topeka and with no school funding formula set for the next year, everyone is panicked... and rumors and theories are flying. The legislators and education lobbyists hate each other's guts. The Governor and his staff aren't leading. Many home school and private school advocates thumb their nose at these lazy parents sending their kids to government school. They aren't interested in fixing public schools either.
The media portrays and is complicit in this last ditch effort to take down Brownback. And in the meantime, teachers are trying their best and kids are showing up to learn.
Teachers, you need to know your administrators (not principals) but USD admins and superintendents are in a political pissing contest with legislators and don't care about you.
We are better than this. And our legislators are honestly working extremely hard on this and really do care. The conversation has fallen apart and everyone has a different take on how that happened. Legislators and the public must insist on knowing how taxpayer dollars are being spent.
Public education advocates should be proud of the vision and achievements of public schools and answer questions cheerfully. They should want everyone to see what the schools are doing and show it off. When lobbyists and union representatives are angry and defiant and tell the legislators they are stupid and don't know anything about teaching, you aren't building a relationship. Don't insult each other.
The general public is tired of this fight. We see new buildings and kids come home with new iPads so it's easy to think there's enough money and tune out the argument.
Legislators, superintendents, teachers unions, and Governor Brownback-- you are all better than this. Swallow some humble pie and dig in and figure this out. If you don't care who gets the credit, it's amazing what you'll accomplish.