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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Wasteful spending

February 21, 2014

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To the editor:

It’s about time someone calls out the Kansas Legislature for its hypocritical rhetoric about wasteful spending and budget deficits. Instead of spending money on worthwhile things like improving education, infrastructure or health care for the most vulnerable among us, the legislature has decided that Kansas residents are much more concerned with spending over a million dollars to defend blatantly unconstitutional anti-women’s health laws.

Despite our looming budget crisis, Brownback has given income tax breaks to the wealthiest Kansans and corporations. To him, passing (and paying people to defend) an extremist program of restrictions on women’s health is more important than the state’s economy. Politicians should not waste taxpayer money playing doctor and defending a dangerous ideological agenda. We elected our politicians to improve the economy and address public education, not to intrude on medical decisions and pass unconstitutional laws that ultimately cost taxpayers a lot of money. It’s time for the wasteful spending to end. We have too many problems in our state to keep allowing our politicians to waste money on abortion politics.

Comments

Richard Heckler 10 months, 1 week ago

KANSAS, like every state, explicitly guarantees a free public education in its Constitution, affirming America’s founding belief that only an educated citizenry can preserve democracy and safeguard individual liberty and freedom.

And yet in recent years Kansas has become the epicenter of a new battle over the states’ obligation to adequately fund public education. Even though the state Constitution requires that it make “suitable provision” for financing public education, Gov. Sam Brownback and the Republican-led Legislature have made draconian cuts in school spending, leading to a lawsuit that now sits before the state Supreme Court.

Forty-five states have had lawsuits challenging the failure of governors and legislators to provide essential resources for a constitutional education. Litigation is pending against 11 states that allegedly provide inadequate and unfair school funding, including New York, Florida, Texas and California.

Many of these lawsuits successfully forced elected officials to increase school funding overall and to deliver more resources to poor students and those with special needs.

Kansas’ current constitutional crisis has its genesis in a series of cuts to school funding that began in 2009. The cuts were accelerated by a $1.1 billion tax break, which benefited mostly upper-income Kansans, proposed by Governor Brownback and enacted in 2012.

Overall, the Legislature slashed public education funding to 16.5 percent below the 2008 level, triggering significant program reductions in schools across the state. Class sizes have increased, teachers and staff members have been laid off, and essential services for at-risk students were eliminated, even as the state implemented higher academic standards for college and career readiness.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/08/opinion/whats-the-matter-with-kansas-schools.html?_r=0

Phil Minkin 10 months, 1 week ago

When will the majority of voters wake up to what's going on?

Leslie Swearingen 10 months, 1 week ago

I supplemented the public education of my daughter and granddaughter by having both watch a lot of PBS. They learned a great deal and my granddaughter loved Bill Nye.

Okay, I have to share this story about Sesame Street. My daughter was driving me crazy because night after night I could not get her to sleep. We watched a segment with Bert and Ernie in which Ernie was doing the same thing to Bert. "Is that how I make you feel?", she asked, pointed to the frustrated Bert. "Yes, It is." She always went right to sleep after that.

It made her understand in a way that only words could not. Thank you Sesame Street.

Parents can not leave education up to the schools or the state legislature and hope they are doing a good job. They must be proactive approach.

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