Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has found himself in a $344 million problem. By the end of the Kansas’ last fiscal year, which ended in January, this deficit had grown to be a massive problem. In an attempt to salvage the budget, Governor Brownback will be cutting $45 million from the K-12 public school budget. These cuts will not only impact elementary, middle, and high schools in Kansas like the Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD), but will also impact Kansas colleges and universities.
Because we are a high school newspaper, The Harbinger does not approve of the funding being cut from the Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD), $1.4 million in total.
“In this two-year budget, the Legislature should appropriate money directly to school districts, so it can be spent where it is needed most, and that’s in the classroom.” Brownback claimed in his State of the State address.
Brownback says that money is best spent in the classroom, yet at the same time he is cutting funding from the classroom. he is now cutting money from Kansas schools. From the time Governor Brownback was elected in 2011, he has proven himself to be an unfit Governor. It appears that Brownback is unrealistic when it comes to his progress on creating jobs, which was one of his main goals when he was elected.
“Our unemployment rate is tied for the tenth lowest in America” Brownback said in his State of the State Address.
Though true, Kansas has stayed in the tenth spot of the lowest unemployment rate since 2011, having the one of the lowest employment growth in the nation. Brownback made all these tax cuts to create jobs, when in actuality, he has reduced the unemployment growth to one of the lowest in the nation, 3.5 percent. Now the Kansas Public School Systems will be paying for Brownback’s tax cuts for the business owners.
In 2012, Brownback put incredibly low tax cuts into effect. These are largely the reason for the large deficit. In the same year, in an attempt to create “Trickle Down Economics”, Brownback approved a new tax bill that will exempt LLCs, sole proprietorships and S-Corporations from Income Tax.
In other words, Brownback gave a puzzling tax cut to the business owners of Kansas for two reasons: so businesses can grow and hire more employees, and to draw businesses to Kansas. However this has just dug Kansas into a hole that will be very difficult to get out of.
Not only is Brownback receiving criticism for his botched tax plan, but he is now also on trial with the Kansas Supreme Court for violating the Constitution by not giving schools enough funding already. If the Supreme Court finds Kansas in the wrong, it could severely mess up his school funding cut.
Brownback failed as a Governor in 2011-2014, yet still was reelected in hopes that he would dig himself out of the hole he made. Yet Brownback is just making that hole deeper and deeper by him keeping the income tax low and making unnecessary cuts to try to save himself. School funding cuts are already going into effect such as the early retirement incentive in the SMSD which offers teachers with 10 or more years in the district the offer to accept a 60 percent base salary compensation over a five year span. This will hopefully save over 1.5$ million dollars annually.