2nd Court Slams Brownback For Underfunding Education To Expedite Kochs’ Tax Cuts

 

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Now that Republicans control both houses of Congress, Americans should brace themselves for a serious Koch-style assault on revenue and government agencies. Last year, Mitch McConnell told Kansas Governor Sam Brownback that Republicans were panting to enact a Koch-Kansas economic assault on America that Brownback imposed by giving the rich monumental tax breaks at the expense of the state government and residents. At the time, McConnell swooned over Brownback’s trickle-down massacre and told him “It’s exactly what we want to do here in Washington, but we can’t do it yet only controlling the House.” With control of the House and Senate, Republicans can proceed with the same reckless abandon for the government and it is probable that like Kansas, public education is in for some seriously major funding cuts.

For the second time in six months, a Kansas court panel ruled that the state is still not spending enough money on education to “provide a suitable education for children.” In June, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the state must increase funding for public K-12 schools to comply with Kansas law mandating that public schools are funded at constitutionally required levels. However, as is their habit, Brownback’s Republicans disregarded the Kansas Constitution and Supreme Court ruling and slashed funding for the state’s public schools to both provide tax cuts for the wealthy and keep their population ignorant. Keeping the population dirt-stupid worked nicely for Brownback’s re-election; particularly after his Koch brother trickle-down tax cutting scheme demolished the state’s economy.

According to the latest ruling against trickle-down Brownback, Kansas is failing miserably to spend enough money on public schools to provide a suitable education for every child. The three-judge panel’s ruling said, “We found the Kansas K-12 school financing formula constitutionally inadequate in its present failure to implement the necessary funding to sustain a constitutionally adequate education as a matter of current fact as well as the precedent facts that supported the Montoy decisions. That is still our opinion.”

The Montoy decision refers to a 2006 school funding lawsuit, and several others including the earlier Supreme Court ruling, that the judges said informed them beyond a shadow of a doubt that “yes, money spent on education makes a difference.” According to evidence, the state needs to increase its education spending at least $548 million a year to comply with Kansas’ Constitutional requirement. Brownback is going to appeal the District Court panel’s decision to the Kansas Supreme Court.

The governor’s spokesperson, Eileen Hawley, released a statement on the decision saying “We will review today’s decision carefully. The Governor will work with legislative leaders to determine the best path forward.” However, Brownback and the GOP-dominated Legislature will hardly even attempt to comply with this latest ruling any more than the last because it will jeopardize Brownback’s aggressive trickle down tax cuts for the rich and elimination of corporate taxation enacted according to the Koch brothers and trickle down guru Arthur Laffer’s directives. Laffer, like the Kochs and Brownback, claim that it is important to cut the state’s revenue stream in order to increase state revenue and create a jobs bonanza. Since the Koch-Brownback tax cuts for the rich and corporations, Kansas is hemorrhaging revenue, lagging the rest of the nation in job creation, has suffered several credit downgrades, and according to many Republicans is facing bankruptcy in less than two years. Credit rating agencies concur and have enacted several concurrent downgrades.

Public school officials also released their own statements on the decision. Wichita Public Schools superintendent John Allison said, “An educated workforce is key to Kansas’ economic success. I am pleased to see the court’s affirmation that an adequately-funded education is of vital importance to Kansas. While we won’t immediately know the impact of the ruling, we do believe today’s court decision is a great one for today’s students and the future of our state.” Dodge City Superintendent Alan Cunningham said, “In order to accomplish the goal of making every child college or career ready, we need appropriate resources to do our jobs. We continue to have faith that the Kansas legislature will work to ensure that every Kansas child has access to an adequate and fully funded formula for education.”

Kansas public school educators have other problems on their plates as a result of Brownback’s $1.1 billion unfunded tax cuts for the rich besides the inadequate, and unconstitutional, cuts to education. On Tuesday, Kansas education officials reported that the number of homeless students in the state’s schools continues to increase at alarming levels due to low wages and pathetic jobs situation. According to the Kansas State Department of Education, there were nearly 10,400 homeless children attending public schools last year; a thousand more than a year earlier. In fact, Wichita and Kansas City public schools reported there were increases in homeless students of 45% and 20% respectively over the course of just one year.

The coordinator of the education department’s child homelessness program, Tate Toedman, said that Kansas families are taking longer to recover from homelessness than in the past due to the state’s poor economic situation, poverty wages, and lack of jobs. All schools are required by the federal government to keep track of homeless students to receive support and service programs designed specifically to keep children in school. Kansas is so broke, though, that after Brownback’s $1.1 billion unfunded gift to the wealthy there are insufficient funds to keep homeless shelters open.

As an example, one homeless shelter specifically for families with school-aged children in southeastern Kansas had to close its doors in July, and it is all down to the increasing state budget shortfall directly resulting from Brownback’s tax cuts for the rich. The CHOICES Family Emergency Shelter had provided a place to live for 350 homeless people every year, most of whom are children. The closure is another victim of the state budget shortfall that is so severe that even after cutting homeless shelter funding by half for all of 2014, Kansas could not afford to spend $100,000 to keep the shelter open for the rest of the year; but Brownback and  Republicans will not do anything to “jeopardize” the epic tax cuts for the rich and corporations, including Koch Industries and its libertarian owners.

It is important to note that Republicans, including Brownback, held up Kansas and its unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy-elite and corporations as the idealized Republican economic plan for all America to follow. One Kansas Republican even admitted that one of the primary goals of the Koch-Brownback economic plan was cutting government down to size and they have been successful in slashing the state public education system to unconstitutional levels as well as cutting public retirement accounts to pay for the tax cuts.

Despite the abject failure in Kansas, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Brownback “It’s exactly what we want to do in Washington,” and now that they control both chambers of Congress, it is certainly what they will attempt. The only thing standing between the entire nation, the federal government, and public education going the way of Kansas is President Obama’s veto pen. Because without him as a firewall, the entire nation will become the Koch brothers’ vision of America and will look exactly like Kansas.

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26 Replies to “2nd Court Slams Brownback For Underfunding Education To Expedite Kochs’ Tax Cuts”

  1. ya know… the way to deal with Brownback and the clowns in the assembly is for the State Supreme Court to order their arrest and frog march them to jail in handcuffs on a contempt charge…

    also drug test them like they want to do to welfare recipients…

    it would at least get their attention…

  2. At least at a KLAN meeting you know what’s coming. With this jackass, you don’t know exactly when it’s the right time to storm his gated community.

  3. Happy New Year Kansans. Not only has he bankrupted your state but you dummies reelected him and now no school for your pic-a-ninnies. Don’t worry though, there is always your Aunt Ginny with her GED that will homeschooled them in the bible.

  4. The Families are falling through the cracks .. Our future
    Kids need .,,, Education .. That Is our duty to make sure our kids .. have the freedom .. To learn .. When you learn so many Opportunities become a reality .a positive! Job ! Wow

    … No Education … More homeless … More Crime …
    That’s what you will get ! Frustrating .. My .. Goodness..
    Don’t stop the funding … By the sounds of it you are already in a crisis … Stand up People its your right to .. give your kids and keep your self ..From .. Learning … Never Stop … learning ..don’t … Give up !
    ….. An education ..they are trying to keep you from growing .. You have Dreams Follow your Dream !
    …. Who Voted for these morons .? Bullies !
    Money grabbing vultures… The Root OF .. EVIL
    They will have longer lineups .
    Drug Testing Start with Them !!
    They need to be thrown out ! What Country doYou live in

    I believe its on your Door step .Don’t … Ever Give Up !
    Wish you all The Bes…

  5. What kind of twisted, sick, heartless, soulless, perverted, deprived minds insist on wanting to FIGHT the panel’s decision? It’s not bad enough that they cut funding like mad in the first place, yet now they’re against the ruling that says “you’re screwing our kids.”

    Let’s hear any trolls out here defend this. Please, I can’t wait to hear from you.

  6. I hope all those that voted Republican will be very happy with themselves when the poor people they hate so much start dying off. I just hope some of them get to see it and the demonstrations that follow.

  7. The poor are whites who depend on the gubbermint. They think, well they don’t think but they know the dog whistle of welfare don’t apply to them but they soon shall find out

  8. American republican states are in pretty bad life or death situations and it’s only going to get worse. WHY WHY WHY would the people of those states vote for people, who have shown, that they have nothing but disdain and contempt for them? It is truly, truly a mystery. The devil is busy and the people refuse to acknowledge it………

  9. They want people to be ignorant, poor and ill so they won’t have the strength or intelligence to vote at all and then it will be a dictatorship not a democracy.

  10. It’s the three Gs: God, guns, and gays, they are the main reason that these know-nothing aholes get elected. All they have to do is wave the flag and thump the bible and they’re in like Flynn.

  11. Heck of a job, Kansas!

    I lived there for three years. Sadly, it really was a wonderful state, with great beauty and history….in the eastern half.

    It is devastating to see a once Progressive state turn into a puppet of the Reichwing.

  12. An under educated, under employed, scared and desperate populace will gladly trade their Constitutional rights for crumbs. The plutocrats want high unemployment, they want war, they’re not scared of civil unrest anymore-they have a militarized police force. Make no mistake…we are 1 step away-a Republican president-from being a full fledged fascist state.

  13. Do people actually vote for these cretins, or is it possible that republicans rig every election? The latter makes better sense.

  14. Who are you talking to hear? Surely not the same voters who knew what the Guv did in his first term and turned right around and voted him for a second. They are unreachable.

  15. I often wonder about that. People who lie so easily probably have no integrity and would find it easy to cheat to get what they want.

  16. I agree. Almost all the polls showed Brownback was going to lose this election. Their Sec of State Kris Kobach is one of the slimiest dirtiest kind of politician, and wouldn’t put it past him or the GOP to have rigged some machines and steal the election.

  17. I have zero sympathy for the citizens of Kansas they voted for these neocons so they are getting exactly what they voted for.

  18. Good going there tea bags, Kansas and Wisconson are both in the hole, Texas will be next or maybe Oklahoma or Mississippi?
    Maybe the can all start selling Tetley, Twinings or Lipton to keep their red tea bag led states going…

  19. Most disgusting line here in my opinion, “An educated workforce is key to Kansas’ economic success…”
    Makes them sound like slaves to the corporatist interests that want their hands on those government contracts.

  20. I still can’t believe Brownback was reelected. With these cuts to education, I guess we shouldn’t hold our collective breath that the next generation of rocket scientists will be coming out of Kansas.

  21. THe two poorest counties in the country are in Kansas. They went for Bush 70%-30%.
    They deserve whatever misery they get.

  22. Question: Is it constitutional for legislators to allocate funds to the rich and corporations before they allocate funds to serve the welfare of all, including health and education? 40 years ago Koch brothers funded ALEC to make laws to benefit the rich and corporations. Since then governments, cities, states, and the federal government are giving away our tax dollars to the rich and corporations FIRST and then barely funding the rest of government programs with the remains. Washington State and Kansas Supreme Courts are starting to address these illegal legislative giveaways because poverty is increasing and more children are homeless and hungry. Washington State Supreme Court has gone as far as a contempt of court on all state legislators for not funding education fully while giving away billions to corporations and the rich. What is your State doing?
    COMPLAINTS: need to be made to both the state Attorney General and the DOJ.
    DOJ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DOJ

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