To the editor:
I cannot think of a time when I have been more disheartened or discouraged by the lack of leadership in Topeka. Fiscal responsibility is essential, but adequate funding of basic social services especially K-12 education is something every Kansan should expect from state government. Our school finance formula is flawed. No question about it. The elimination of 65 teachers and extracurricular programs in the Lawrence school district has gone beyond "cutting fat." The Kansas Legislature has forced our board to cut meat and bone.
I am not anxious for a tax increase, but I'll bet most Kansans would agree that under the circumstances, state government MUST find a way to adequately fund public schools. Tax increases, dipping into reserves or a shift in present resources must be considered even in an election year. Unfunded federal mandates and local mismanagement contribute to the problem, but the responsibility for adequate funding lies directly on the shoulders of our representatives in Topeka.
Shame on the governor and our state legislators for abdicating their responsibility to adequately fund the basic education needs of the state's most valuable resource our children. ALL Kansans will pay a dear price for their lack of will and leadership in dealing with this issue.