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Brownback versus education


Kansas schools are fighting everyday to provide their students with adequate education as they struggle financially.


In March, a ruling by the Kansas justices determined that our schools are not being adequately funded. To try to ensure adequate education, Kansas adopted the “Rose Standards,” before Brownback came into office, which are a set of guidelines from a 1989 Kentucky case that establish the needs a school must meet to provide students with minimum educational requirements.There have since been rules in the Kansas constitution that establish requirements for each school district within the state to adequately fund the education of its students.


The Kansas legislature was ordered, by the state’s Supreme Court justices, to organize a new law that would adequately fund Kansas education. It must be done by April 30, 2018, before schools’ money can no longer provide for their students, meaning the schools could no longer purchase textbooks or supplies for students. For low income school districts, many of them Title I schools, this decision is crucial to their success.


The solution that was proposed by the Kansas legislature is a two part bill with both adequacy - the overall amount of education funding - and equality- whether the legislature has fairly divided money between property-wealthy and property-poor districts. The two part bill is a way to improve education funding in all school districts.


Governor Sam Brownback cut $56 million from this year's budget, $50 million of that total being education funding. In addition, because of the extreme loss of funding Kansas schools have experienced over the last eight years, Kansas has forfeit over $100,000,000 of federal money that the state will never get back because it has failed to meet certain federal educational requirements.


To conclude, the state of Kansas is at a crossroads regarding education funding. More money is being taken away from our schools than is being put in. In Title I schools, the struggle is hitting harder as funding is becoming less and less. It is up to the Kansas legislature to decide the fate of school districts as they struggle to stay alive and provide students with proper education.