We agree. This is bad policy and bad government.
“Where was the love for those ‘great’ schools as the Legislature voted to strip teachers of their due-process rights, subsidize private education with a corporate income-tax credit, and pass unproven ideological reforms while trampling on the policymaking responsibilities of the Kansas State Board of Education?
There was no groundswell of support for nullifying Kansas teachers’ 57-year-old right to challenge their dismissal. Though the Kansas Association of School Boards supports making some changes to due process, this wasn’t its proposal. There wasn’t even a legislative hearing on the proposal this session.
There was a February hearing on the bill to create a new corporate income-tax credit for contributions to private-school scholarships for low-income students – though not enough support to advance it out of committee.
Nobody even knows whether the new ‘innovative districts’ program will work or is constitutional. Yet the bill doubles down on that accountability-free concept, which – like the bill’s relaxation of teacher-licensing rules – treads on the job of the state board.
As Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, asked: ‘Who really wants these policy pieces? Middle of the night. No constituent feedback. We need to ram it home for special interests.’
With such handling of the various bills, GOP legislative leaders also failed to reflect Brownback’s State of the State assertion that the ‘wonderfully untidy’ business of appropriations is ‘open for all to see.’ They held a conference committee meeting at 3 a.m. Sunday – after media, most legislators and the teachers had left the Statehouse for the night, and with insufficient public notice.”