Friday, May 01, 2015

Kansas shows us what could happen if Republicans win in 2016

By Catherine Rampell Opinion writer April 30 at 8:00 PM WashPost

No more pencils, no more books. No more teachers’ dirty looks.

Usually this is an anthem of celebration, of respite from the angst-inducing strictures of K-12 schooling. But this year, across Kansas, the jingle is coming a little sooner than expected, and with mournful undertones.

At least eight Kansas school districts recently announced that they’re starting summer break early this year, and not because kids have already learned so much that they deserve a few extra days off. It’s because these schools ran out of money, thanks to state leaders’ decision to ax education spending midyear to plug an ever-widening hole in their budget.

In at least one district, Twin Valley, children are being kicked out two weeks earlier than planned. Haven School District is closing five days early to save an expected $4,000 per day, said Superintendent Rick White, but next year the district will likely shave off 10 days. White told me that members of the school board are also looking for other creative ways to absorb the $750,000 in cuts handed down by the legislature for this year and next. They, and their educators, must continue to find new and innovative ways to do less with less.

In balancing the budget on the backs of children, Kansas politicians are behaving shamefully. But they may also be doing the rest of the country a favor, by giving us a preview of what might happen if Republicans control the White House and Congress after the 2016 ­election.

(More here.)

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