Bring up the topic of education, and there is what people should be talking about and what they are talking about.
It is frustrating.
We should be talking about innovation and what schools can, and should, do to educate students for the century ahead. We should be talking about innovation and things like the Gemini Project, things like what was discussed at Santa Fe Middle School this week.
The school has been one of three in the Newton District taking on a "redesign." What we learned this week is there will be more community involvement, more students interacting with business outside of the school, more career counseling and some really exciting things coming up for the students of that school.
These are the things we should be talking about.
However, in Kansas, we can not seem to get off of funding and a feud between the Kansas Legislature and schools that the supreme court has been asked to settle. Voters have been asked to take sides with either the Legislature or the court.
And here in Kansas, our Legislature passes a bill designed to increase funding for schools as early as next year but actually decreases that funding. That's called the $80 million error by legislators.
The funding bill approved by the legislature was supposed to contain about $500,000 in increased general fund aid for Newton USD 373, along with nearly $300,000 in new funds for special education. However unless the legislature takes corrective action, the district could lose $75,000.
Honestly, it is time for the Legislature to come to grips with how often they have lost in court (more than a dozen) and respond in a way that satisfies the court. In short, it is time for the Legislature to do its job and get out of the way.
Kansas teachers, principals and students are trying to innovate and find better ways to teach and learn. The Legislature needs to find better ways to do what they do. Their standard attempt to undermine the court's constitutional authority and responsiblity, demand for studies to tell everyone what they know and confirm what was learned in court, must stop.
Once the Legislature does its job, we can talk about things we should be talking about. And would that not be refreshing?
— Kansan editorial board