Archive for Thursday, March 9, 2017

Letter to the editor: Public education

March 9, 2017

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The Kansas Supreme Court just decided in the “Gannon” case that the Legislature has, so far, failed to provide suitably for public schooling in the State. The Court looked for guidance, in part, to the Kansas Constitution; specifically, the following:

Article 6, Section 1: “The legislature shall provide for intellectual, educational, vocational and scientific improvement by establishing and maintaining public schools....”

The word “public” is there to see, and;

Article 6, Section 6, b: “The legislature shall make suitable provision for finance of the educational interests of the State.”

Gov. Brownback is reported to agree with the court that many children currently are not receiving suitable education in Kansas. The court assumes it is the job of the Legislature to make public education suitable. The governor has different ideas: He proposes charter schools and private schools. Private schools are nowhere addressed in our Constitution — or in our expectations, for that matter. Charter schools are a euphemism for publicly funded private enterprises, dressed in sufficient obscurity to leave them somehow arguably “public.”

Education is the biggest budget item in our state government; and some see it as a pernicious burden of “big government.”

Our children’s public education and leaving it in poverty and dissolution — on the frequently mistaken premise that the private sector can do it better — looks like a deflection from the truth of it: Fixing the current mess is beyond the governor’s competence, and he does not choose to tackle public education’s persistent challenges.

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Reinstate Taxes OF COURSE!

VOTERS should have learned a lesson which is the republican party is not the same and has not been for about 36 years.

It is the GOP led by libertarian right wing politicians that has effectively rendered Kansas bankrupt.

Just reinstating the Brownback tax cuts should not require a lot of thinking. It will however require a ton of backbone and truck loads of ethical stamina.

Richard Heckler 2 months, 2 weeks ago

The public school tax dollars are OURS TO SPEND and the public schools are OURS TO OWN AND MAINTAIN.

For the past 15-20 years the GOP has been cutting public education budgets with reckless results. We now know consecutive years of cutting public education budgets DOES NOT improve public education.

Any change in public education funding should be approved by the voting taxpayers aka the largest group of public education stakeholders in any state. In fact we stakeholders out number legislators by quite a comfortable large margin. Elected officals have demonstrated they cannot manage our tax dollars ethically or fiscally responsible.

Our school funding dollars and the mechanism by which the money is raised should NEVER be left solely to a group of politicians. The tax dollars are OURS TO SPEND and the public schools are OURS TO OWN AND MAINTAIN.

DO WE THE TAXPAYERS WANT TO GIVE UP OUR SCHOOL BUILDINGS TO FOR PROFIT CORPORATIONS AFTER WE TAXPAYERS HAVE INVESTED SO MUCH MONEY IN THE BUILDINGS AND A FINE PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM? NO!

The Kansas GOP should have advised the largest body of public school stakeholders during political campaigns of their intent to eventually defund and dismantle public education. Why is it they didn't?

Voters cannot trust those bearing the GOP by their names.

The Corporate Take Over of Public Education:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diann-woodard/the-corporate-takeover_b_3397091.html

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/07/14/education-next-corporate-frontier

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