The Governor of Kansas Is Proposing a Budget ‘Fix’ That Will Cost His State Billions
On top of this Brownback’s new Sin Tax hikes will have Kansans buying a lot of their booze and cigarettes in Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Colorado.
Rather than retreat from the massive tax cuts that are crippling his state’s finances, Gov. Sam Brownback (R) wants to cut classroom funding for Kansas schools by $127 million and push pension fund payments off into the future.
The defining characteristic of the governor’s various proposals for fixing the nearly billion-dollar deficit is that they will create larger problems down the road. The proposed budget would replace the state’s current financing formula for schools with block grants that districts could use as they see fit. But that flexibility masks a significant cut in classroom resources for a state that has already been accused by judges of falling hundreds of millions of dollars short of the bare-minimum level of education funding required by the Kansas Constitution.
Even if courts don’t step in and order higher funding levels, economic research shows that under-investing in education raises longer-term costs in other areas. Future public assistance spending will be higher, (because education funding cuts produce higher poverty among the students affected, and the state will likely spend more medicating and jailing a sicker and more delinquent future adult population.