Why do the Democrats want Republicans to add money to the state budget? It’s not because an infusion of $38 million to “equalize” Kansas school funding will go to the classrooms. According to legislative research, the money will offset property taxes in some district. It’s not new or extra money for classrooms or teachers or even administrators. It will allow some school districts to tax its users at a lower rate. (Or, in simpler terms, it redistributes money from Johnson County residents to western Kansans.)
And we know the Democrats and moderates are screaming mad about limited funding for other services, like the Kansas Department of Transportation--don’t get me started; and cuts to senior services. And they’re also fighting angry about the Kansas universities increasing tuition due to funding cuts. (It’s odd that public universities don’t opt to make cuts of their own rather than just asking students and their parents--and federal loan programs-- for more money, but that’s how these things work.) Surely, Democrats realize that extra school funding has to come from somewhere, and that making those cuts to other parts of the budget is painful and at this point unnecessary considering the extra school funding won’t even go to classrooms.
So I ask again: Why are Democrats so desperate to sacrifice everything on the altar of public education? They’re playing the long game, and they want Kansas Republicans to vote for tax increases simply so they can call Republicans and conservatives hypocrites.
I just hope conservatives are too smart to fall for it. I guess we’ll find out later this week. If Republicans vote to fund schools in greater amounts than we already are, tax increases are coming, and it has nothing to do with providing more or better services or educating children and everything to do with Democrats wanting an excuse to use the word “hypocrite.”