SBOE calls for more money

At its monthly meeting yesterday, the Kansas State Board of Education called on the Legislature to increase spending on public schools.

According to the Lawrence Journal-World‘s Scott Rothchild, the board called on the Legislature to increase funding by 15%, or $471 million.

Walt Chappell cast the lone vote against the proposal, which carried 7-1, with Kathy Martin abstaining. John Bacon, who voted with the majority, feared that increasing spending by the amount called for by the board might lead to another tax increase. “Other board members,” according to Rothchild, “said the tax issue shouldn’t be part of their deliberations. They said they needed to represent education interests to the Legislature.”

Rachel Whitten of Kansas Reporter says that according to Dale Dennis of KSDE, fulfilling the request of the board “would require a significant revenue increase which could come in the form of income or sales tax.”

The Legislature is the one organization in the state that does in fact need to consider “the tax issue” as well as the road issue, the public safety issue, the health-safety-net issue, and everything else. Unfortunately, thanks to the Legislature’s response to Montoy, the pattern has been set that the Legislature doesn’t have any discretion to what outside experts tell it to spend.

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