Topeka State Board of Education Chairwoman Janet Waugh urged lawmakers on Monday not to cut public school funding any further.
“It’s starting to hurt right now,” said Waugh, a Democrat from Kansas City, Kan. “We’re really starting to feel some pain.”
Waugh recommended that before lawmakers slice more dollars from education they should consider a tax increase, even though, she said, she understands people are generally opposed to paying higher taxes.
“But we’re talking about our future here. The future of Kansas and the future of this nation is sitting in these classrooms,” Waugh said.
Because of revenue shortfalls, the state has already reduced base aid by $215 per student, or 4.8 percent this year.
State Sen. Jay Emler, R-Lindsborg, and the chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said schools would probably have to be cut again.
“I see no way around cutting education because that’s the bulk of the budget,” Emler said.
He said he hopes the revenue situation turns around but he isn’t too optimistic.