Topeka Supporters of Kansas public schools will rally Saturday at the Capitol to protest state budget cuts to education.
“These devastating cuts to education funding are a disaster in the making for a state that has staked its future on development of a high-tech economy,” said Kathy Cook, executive director of Kansas Families for Education.
The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday on the south side of the Capitol.
Kansas Families for Education, Kansas National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers are sponsoring the rally, which is being held in conjunction with similar rallies at state capitals nationwide.
Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, and the GOP-controlled Legislature cut state aid to schools by $232 per pupil in the current fiscal year, which started July 1.
Brownback has said the cuts were necessary to help balance the overall state budget.
In the past several years, as the state has struggled with revenue shortfalls, per-pupil spending has dropped from $4,400 in the 2008-09 school year to the current level of $3,780.
Speakers at the rally will include elected officials, teachers, school board members, parents and students.
“There are higher demands on teachers and students and fewer resources to meet those demands,” said KNEA President Blake West. “Seldom do the voices of those dedicated and experienced teachers and parents who work in our public schools get heard. We know what’s suitable is for our students and their education. We will make our voices heard.”