Education: Lion or sacrificial lamb?

The Kansas Legislature returns to work next Monday. It bears repeating that they have accomplished very little since January on the three biggest issues before them: the billon dollar revenue crater ahead of us, the July 1 deadline to create a constitutional school funding plan, and the hundred thousand Kansas who cannot get health care. They will have to cram all of that in now.

The crux of all of this, however, will be the fate of K-12 education funding. Funding our schools has been the subject of lawsuits against the state for several decades, is the driving factor behind last year's well-funded campaign to oust Kansas Supreme Court Justices, and is constantly on the chopping block for zero tax/flat tax/taxes are theft extremists.

Education supporters have always been among the most vocal, most motivated, most influential of activists and voters. Starting Monday, education will drive the debate. Will we push to fund education fully, setting Kansas on a path to a better economy, healthier communities, and more opportunities? Or will education be sacrificed, once again, for the benefit of irresponsible tax policies and "trickle down" fantasies?

You have an opportunity to make a difference this week. Here's how.

Come fight for Kansas schools on Thursday

We are holding a forum on education in Kansas, called "Fighting for Kansas Schools: What's Happening in Topeka and What You Can Do." We expect a full house of people concerned about how we educate our children. When the Legislature reconvenes on Monday, education will be front and center on the agenda. With revenue forecasts predicting close to a $1 billion shortfall in 2018 and 2019, and estimates of up to $800 million required to bring our K-12 programs up to constitutional levels, there is no escaping the pressure that will be placed on our public education system starting May 1.

Our panelists will be Democratic Sen. Pat Pettey, and Republican Rep. Melissa Rooker, both sitting on education committees and integral to the work that needs to be done. Our moderator will be David Smith, of the Kansas City, Kansas public schools. There will be questions from the audience, and we expect an informed, curious, active crowd to be there. Join us.

Walk the Vote!

Walk the Vote logoToday, you can sign up to help raise money to finish the job we started in the 2016 election. At the polls last November, the people of Kansas signaled a sea change in how we want our state to move forward. We elected 14 new Senators, and 48 (!) new Representatives. As a result, we've seen those priorities reflected in Topeka. This year, Kansas has passed tax reform that repudiated the Governor's March to Zero. This year, Kansas has passed KanCare reform that opened up health care to over 150,000 Kansas who could not reach it before. This would never have happened without your action in 2016.

But the Governor vetoed those measures. And the last few extremists, sticking to their blind loyalty to Brownback and his policies, stood in the way of veto overrides, thwarting the clear will of Kansans.

In 2018, the Governor's seat will be empty. In 2018, those 40 Representatives who opposed tax reform will have to run to keep their seats.

In the last election, MainStream spent over a hundred thousand dollars supporting policies, getting out the vote, and hammering home the importance of an impartial judiciary. With our PAC, we supported Democrats and Republicans who support the policies we fight for. Together with partner organizations, activists, candidates, and you, we made a huge difference, and many of Brownback's partisan allies were shown the door.

In 2018, with your help, we will finish the job.

On June 17, 2017, we will hold a fundraising walk in Downtown Overland Park, KS. We need you to create a team, to fundraise, to bring your energy and passion, your creativity and willingness to work, your sense of fun and your dreams for a better Kansas. This is going to a be a fun, noisy, empowering walk, with teams raising money to raise hell in 2018. Get your team together, fly your flag, and let's change Kansas.

Whatever you decide to do, remember to do more than vote. Get informed. Get involved. Make a difference.

Do you like this post?
Sign Up

if you are new to MainStream.

Sign In

if you're a Member or part of our network.