Remaining, regular readers of the Kansas City Star can be excused for their confusion over how Star editorial writers think Kansas should fund its public schools. Judging from a recent editorial, the editorial board members can’t remember what they wrote mere months ago on the topic.
Back in July, the Kansas City Star editorial board recommended that the Kansas Supreme Court press pause on Kansas school funding gluttony. Where once the board was content to demand a never-ending buffet of taxpayer money to satiate teacher’s unions, the Star in July opined the Court should close the dining room.
Back then, the board opined, “..it may be time for the state and the judges to pause for a year or two to see if the $488 million infusion, coupled with a new formula for disbursing the money, will work…At the same time, the judges must be keenly aware that taxpayers’ ability to pay for education has a limit.”
The Kansas Supreme Court didn’t take the Star’s advice. Justices ruled the latest school financing formula unconstitutional and demanded lawmakers draw up a new one no later than April 2018.
Whereas last July, the editorial board recognized the economic and political reality that a funding formula requires a majority of votes from lawmakers in both the House and Senate, the editorial board is singing a different tune today.
Missouri editorialists now write Kansas lawmakers should “quit their bellyaching.”
“Really? Stomping and snorting about school funding is getting awfully old, and it does nothing to move the state forward when it comes to solving an extremely difficult problem,” a recent editorial reads.
It’s a far cry from their July intonations. Then, they said, “But lawmakers listen to evidence, too. They consult with experts. They listen to arguments for and against additional school spending,” the summer editorial reads.
Days ago, Star writers suggested that lawmakers now need to pony up an additional $500 to $600 million in new school funding. That proclamation is in stark contrast to the board’s suggestion this summer that “legislators must consider school spending in the context of other state needs and demands on taxpayers.” They also opined that demanding legislators consider another tax increase on top of the $1.2 billion tax hike from last session “would be an extraordinarily aggressive decision.”
Somehow, Star editorialists took the Court’s “extraordinarily aggressive decision” and used it to bash lawmakers for agreeing with what the editorial board said just months ago. Fewer readers than ever are parsing the words of the Star, but now one must wonder whether the editorial board members themselves read what they write.