NICE GENERAL IDEA, BUT THE SPECIFICS?
Few can argue with most of the goals in the “Road Map for Kansas” that GOP gubernatorial candidate Sam Brownback has been rolling out in recent weeks. After all, who doesn’t want incomes to rise and the number of children living in poverty to decline?
But Brownback has presented one goal — albeit without any specifics — that will be controversial and deserves attention this election campaign: changing the state’s school finance formula.
Brownback has mostly made broad statements about his intentions, such as how he wants to “break the cycle of litigation” — referring to the school funding lawsuits that the state tends to lose and then renege on. But he has dropped a few hints about what the reform might include. He supports letting local voters decide whether to spend more of their own tax money on education. That plays well in Johnson County, which has the resources and desire to spend much more. But it could lead to the funding inequities between wealthy and poorer districts that led to earlier court intervention.