The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

February 4, 2014

Our View: Kansas, invest in students

— The most painful injuries are usually the self-inflicted ones. It’s one thing to suffer a painful injury. But when we cause our own injury, the extra feelings of stupidity and regret rub salt in our wounds.

When Kansas legislators realize that they are the source of their education funding problems, we won’t envy them the pain they will feel.

A ruling from the Kansas Supreme Court about school funding is expected any day, and the anticipated result is that the court will order the Legislature to increase its allocation to public schools. That allocation has shrunk each year since 2011.

Missouri has also wrangled with legal challenges to its funding formula for education. The most recent lawsuit put the focus on equity, noting that some schools were getting much more from the state than others.

While those issues linger somewhat, the average expenditure per student in Missouri was about $9,840 in 2013.

Kansas is projected to spend only $3,852 per pupil in fiscal year 2015. That’s down from a peak of $4,433.

In the meantime, Kansas has been on a budget-cutting tear. Since 2011, legislators have cut basic state aid by 6 percent. In 2012, Gov. Sam Brownback talked legislators into a $3.9 billion cut in personal income taxes. He argued that his plan would stimulate the economy and generate more revenues for public schools.

Here’s how two area school districts have reaped the benefits of that stimulated economy:

• The Galena School District has dropped its teaching staff from 70 to 58. The district’s superintendent does double duty as the school’s counselor.

• The Baxter Springs School District has kept teachers but cut other support positions.

In the effort to stimulate the economy, Kansas legislators have forgotten a key component of business: investment. If legislators are proud of Kansas students and hope to keep them in the state with new high-tech jobs, then legislators must invest more, not less, in those students.

Yet from all indications, legislators may not even take action. It’s speculated that they will resist any order from the state Supreme Court, cry foul over court usurpation and keep reducing the investment into public education.

This injury shows no signs of healing.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Other Views Other Views: Eroding court’s authority

    While Kansans were focused on the twists and turns of school finance this past week, lawmakers made an unnecessary and historic change in how the state’s district courts operate, coercively tying the reforms to badly needed funding.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Travesty

    What a travesty that a terrific young man from Spain is on the verge of deportation even though he has proven his worth in America (Globe, April 13).

    April 18, 2014

  • Your View: Astonishing transformation

    The transformation of the Republican Party in the last decade is astonishing.

    April 18, 2014

  • Your View: The changing view

    It is heartbreaking to hear the decades old trees (which border on South Pennsylvania in Webb City) cracking and being bulldozed down.

    April 18, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: Safe and sound

    Of the 7,500 Joplin and Duenweg homes hit by the 2011 EF-5 tornado, fewer than 20 percent of them had basements.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: Funding for state’s roads

    Missouri is finding there is no good alternative to growing the economy, adding new well-paying jobs and expanding the tax base.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: Government without apology or explanation

    Americans feel closest to their Uncle Sam at this time of year as he extends his hand for his “fair share” to fund his numerous endeavors.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Step aside

    The people of Joplin made it clear they wanted change at City Hall with their decisive votes to replace two council members.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Serious drawbacks

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) lays out clearly and persuasively the serious drawbacks with so-called right-to-work legislation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Free choice

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) regarding right-to-work seems to assume that if workers are given the choice of joining a union, they won’t join.

    April 16, 2014

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

The United States is considering deploying about 150 soldiers for military exercises to begin in Poland and Estonia in the next few weeks, following Russia's buildup of forces near its border with Ukraine. Do you think we should deploy these troops?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
NDN Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Sports