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Archive for Wednesday, April 30, 2003

School support

April 30, 2003

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To the editor:

We are losing schools, programs and teaching positions, and class sizes are increasing in districts all across Kansas.

Good public schools maintain property values and support the work force we need for economic development. Allowing schools to decline inevitably forces neighborhoods into decline. The Legislature provided our school board with the cutting tool by failing in its constitutional duty.

There is an organized effort with staff@saveourpublicschools.com, which is sponsoring a virtual march on the governor from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday.

The small funding increases schools have received over the past 10 years have been well below the rate of inflation. The property tax rate has been cut by 43 percent since 1992. That is why there is no money for schools. The Kansas Constitution requires the state to pay for the core elements of an adequate education for all students. That's not being done. It is our responsibility to prevent this. Serious problems began to surface in 1995; eight years later, nothing has changed.

The easiest and best solution is to restore 50 percent of the revenues lost to tax cuts since 1992. This would raise enough revenue for the state to meet its obligations and maintain the infrastructure we need for growth and economic development, while still leaving taxpayers with a significantly lesser tax burden than we had 11 years ago.

Richard Heckler,

Lawrence

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