I hope everyone has had a wonderful week!
Sadly, the other day a KCK police officer was shot and killed. Such an awful tragedy. Any time a police officer, fireman, or EMT dies in the line of duty it is a tragedy. These are people who spend their lives supporting and serving us, protecting us from each other, saving our lives. The man who apparently shot the officer in this case has been captured, and if he is truly the one who shot Detective Lancaster I hope he spends the remainder of his life in prison.
RIP Detective Brad Lancaster. Thank you for your service to us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
There have been 55 homicides so far in 2016 in the KC metro. Most of those were from gunshots. It’s ridiculous the amount of gun violence here. We have got to find a way to make things better. I don’t have the answers, but I know there has to be a way.
Kansas school funding is messed up. Seriously. I know this shows up on the news, so I’m not shocking anyone by saying that, but it still remains true. I don’t understand why it’s so important to cut taxes on businesses that you’re willing to underfund education to do it. To cut funding on a lot of things that help people, actually, but I’m just talking about education here. Even the recent changes the legislature made to try to meet with the demands of the Kansas Supreme court are little more than renaming the same exact funding the districts already were receiving. It didn’t increase funding and didn’t fix anything.
Over the years, despite what some conservatives in the legislature claim, Kansas has lowered the funding going to schools. I read somewhere that the aid to schools has gone up over 100% since 1992. That is both true and ridiculous. It’s true, the districts in Kansas do now spend more than double what they did in 1992. But not all of that is aid from the state. And more importantly, that is not accounting for inflation or increased costs.
The Kansas Constitution requires that students be provided a decent education, and that the state pay for it appropriately. But then the state legislature, and Governor Sam Brownback, think reducing spending is the way to go anyway. Even though many times in the past the state courts have ruled doing so would be unconstitutional. They all argue that going to block funding did not violate this, but they are being intentionally ignorant in this case. Ask any parent if it costs the exact same to raise 12 children as it does to raise two. Of course not. It also doesn’t cost the same to educate 10,000 students as it does to educate 5000 students. Their block funding completely ignores the fact that districts have a varying number of students from one year to the next. A district that had 30,000 students last year may have 32,000 this year. Those extra 2000 students aren’t free to educate.
So what happens when a district suddenly has more students, but the same funding as it did before? It cuts. It cuts administrators first, which makes the schools in the district run less efficiently. It cuts maintenance staff, meaning the schools have repairs that take longer to fix and school grounds aren’t as well maintained. It stops funding new education materials, meaning students don’t have access to things they’re going to need. It means swelling class sizes and teachers who no longer have time to make sure students understand the lesson well.
Who is hurt by this funding issue? The children, of course. But they don’t hold any political sway yet, so that’s fine with Governor Brownback and his supporters, apparently. After all, he’ll be long out of office by the time any of these kids are 18 and can exert any substantial political pressure. I get so sick of hearing think of the children being used as an argument, mostly because it’s usually used by those trying to institute laws that limit the equality and freedom of LGBT individuals. In this case I think it is the right argument, though. Think of the children!