Kansas Passes Education Bill

On April 6th, Kansas state lawmakers passed a new education finance bill. Led by conservative senators, the bill consists of a few main parts.

  • $126 million spent toward bridging finance disparity gaps in school funding
  • Removes due process for teachers
  • Allows federal corporations tax subsides if they grant scholarships to children attending private schools

Among the changes to Kansas education, Johnson County schools will receive $14 million in funding and KCK schools will receive $9.7 million in funding.

Education is an issue that Kansas has been struggling with for years, and trying to find a solution to issues does not seem like a priority for Kansas legislators. For starters, the funding for bridging funding gaps is not directed in any certain direction. They try to state that all schools deserve equal and proportionate funding, but then grant $14 million to Johnson County schools and not even $10 million for schools that are in much greater need for funds. Instead of granting a general amount of money, Kansas Lawmakers should actual give schools what they need in the first place.

Second, removing due process could be absolutely devastating for teachers. Educators in Kansas do not have tenure, so having the right to have a “trial” about their job is all they really have. Now administrators do not have to give reasons to fire teachers. The lack of job security seems like a slap in the face to those who educate our future generations and there was little reason to remove the process.

Third, and perhaps most irritating of all, federal corporations can now receive tax subsidies (as if they don’t have enough opportunity already) for granting scholarships for kids in need to attend private schools. Instead of maximizing the opportunity for tax money that goes to education, corporations can be rewarded for pouring more money into already well funded private schools — a tactic that could be perceived as an attempt to privatize education.

Overall, the bill was a bad, not thought-out, and potentially harmful move on the part of Kansas lawmakers. Hopefully, the Kansas state legislature will wise up soon.