Senate Bill 71 is still active in the Kansas Legislature, and some of our members have asked for the points we think are the most important in expressing our opposition to the legislation. Here you go, pulled from some of the testimony being submitted this week.
- I oppose the cuts of more than $39 million from K12 classrooms for this current school year, in proposed SB71. (Link to specific amount cut by district http://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/School%20Finance/Action%20Items/SF15-044.xlsx)
- SB 71 calls for the equivalent of a nearly $100 million cut to the annual public education operational budget, at a time when the state’s own legislative post-audit research division studies have demonstrated that our K12 classrooms are chronically underfunded, by at least $550 million (http://www.kslpa.org/docs/reports/05pa19.pdf, p.6).
- As a member of MainStream Coalition, a non-partisan, grassroots organization, I share a collective belief in good governance and traditional Kansas moderate values, including education.
- MainStream supports equitable and adequate funding for our public schools. It is important to remember that the current school finance formula was first implemented to correct for the previous formula’s over dependence on local property taxes and the associated inequality in quality of public education from one community to the next.
- We urge you to reconsider the real cause of this budget crisis. We urge this committee to reconsider your campaign promises and invest in the future of Kansas children, rather continue down this reckless tax policy path.
- I urge you to uphold the obligations spelled out in Article 6 of the Kansas Constitution, and the multiple Supreme Court and District Court school finance rulings of 2006 and 2014, that ruled the legislatures currents education budget unconstitutional.
- Within the first weeks of taking office, the governor declared that “educating children is to the state government as national defense is to the federal government: it is the state’s primary function ... And that is as it should be” (2011).
- Kansas has a revenue and tax policy problem. January revenue estimates are down again, another $47 million. Enough is enough.
Thank you for being active and impassioned.