I think it is important to investigate whether or not the Republican attack on education - school funding, testing standards, collective bargaining - is just an attempt to subvert an education system that made the United States the global social, economic and military beacon on the hill because they themselves failed basic courses at an early age.
Republican attacks on science education are well-documented, particularly in Kansas (often starting in Kansas). Now that conservative Republicans comfortably control both houses of the Kansas legislature as well as the governor's mansion, the glory and brilliance of their agenda is on full display.
Right now, the legislature is busy working bills to allow local school districts the ability to determine whether or not to allow teachers and school staff to carry weapons on campus.
Right now, the legislature is busy working bills to allow local school districts the ability to determine whether or not to allow teachers and school staff to carry weapons on campus:
State Rep. Brett Hildabrand (R-Shawnee), who presented the guns-for-teachers amendment, said the proposal gives school boards discretion to decide whether or not to implement it. School boards then would also have the option of deciding which specific teachers could carry a gun.Simultaneously, the legislature is working to amend the state constitution to forbid Kansas courts from "interfering" in school finance decisions, after the state Supreme Court has ruled several times that the legislature unconstitutionally underfunded state schools. So on the one hand, local school districts must be able to exercise their right to determine whether or not school staff can carry a weapon on school grounds. On the other hand, local school boards cannot exercise their right to challenge the legislature in a court of law over the belief that their school district was unconstitutionally underfunded.
But the point of this post is neither of these issues directly. Rather, it is another bill intended to combine the state department of transportation with the state turnpike authority. More specifically, it is a question of whether or not state legislators, presumably themselves products of the state education system they both praise and loathe, have demonstrated yet again that Kansas is not a wise place to do business. It isn't that Republican policy here provides little certainty or clarity to business owners looking to plan for the future of their business. Rather, it is further evidence that Republicans just make things up, think no one notices then cannot fathom how or why anyone questions their thinking and actions.
As mentioned, the current proposal is to merge the operations of the Kansas Department of Transportation with the Kansas Turnpike Authority. The KTA is a self-finanaced toll road between Kansas City and the Oklahoma border. The KTA currently has $200 million in reserves designed to pay for anticipated road and bridge repairs over the next ten years. A model of fiscal responsibility anyone can support. Of course, Governor Brownback wants to raid these savings to balance his fiscally irreponsible budget shortfall ($295 million in 2013).
To do this, he is attempting to write another chapter of Republican unicorn math. The Lawrence Journal World noted yesterday that the merger of the two departments will save $30 million over two years:
Brownback said the merger would save $30 million over two years, although KDOT Secretary Mike King has said he doesn't know how those savings would occur.I suppose my question should be "is it worth it to become a Republican in this state? It seems so easy to rise right to the top." In reality, the question is "what is the best way to get out of the way of this train wreck?"