NICE GEN­ERAL IDEA, BUT THE SPECIFICS?

The Kansas City Star (Sunday) - - OPINION -

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.

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