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Kansas is a Great Place... to Raze Schools


For many years the rap on Kansas was that, yes, it may not be the most exciting place but golly-gee, what a wonderful state to raise a family in!

Those days are over. There’s nothing wonderful about having a governor and a state legislature that view public education as the enemy. The zealots that Kansas voters have put into office have refused for years to fund our schools adequately. They are like vultures sitting above our children’s playgrounds, licking their lips (well, if vultures had lips) in anticipation of the day when the public says, “Ok. Turn it all over to the private sector. It’s not working anymore.”

Do they want Kansas children to fail? I don’t believe so. But they view undereducated children as a sort of necessary evil – collateral damage, if you will, in their long running battle to cripple public education. Cripple it until it stumbles, and eventually tumbles to the ground. Ground which can then be sold to private industry and on which profit-making schools will be erected.

Governor Brownback’s block-grant funding system is now the law of the land. But it is a ruse to allow continued underfunding of our schools. His merit pay for teachers idea is similar – nothing more than a way to cut the pay of many educators. His statements about “too little money going into the classrooms” are a diversionary tactic that any examination of school funding reveals to be smoke and mirrors.

A great place to raise a family? More like a great place to raze schools. And that’s spelled r-a-z-e. 

Richard Crowson is not only a editorial commentator for KMUW. He's also a cartoonist, an artist and a banjo player.