Archive for Wednesday, April 3, 2002

Kansas lawmakers should take action

April 3, 2002

News that the state again is behind on payments to school districts in Kansas does not bode well for the future of education.

This week, an expected payment from the state of $330,000 for Tonganoxie school employees' salaries was late. And it's not the first time. In December, the state missed its deadline, too. Fortunately, the local district has not been forced to borrow money to cover employees' paychecks, which are issued on the 20th of each month.

As the Kansas Legislature continues to debate the financial future of the state, it's easy to understand why publicly funded educators are concerned. Some educators will lose their jobs because of budget cuts in their districts.

Financial uncertainty will take a further toll on the quality of the state's teachers.

It's difficult to imagine that a prospective employee in the private sector would take a job with a company that might have to borrow money to meet payroll. That company, obviously, could go under at any time.

Would that company attract the best and the brightest? And what about retention? Would the best and the brightest stay with the firm?

The answer is probably not.

So if public education truly is important to Kansans, it's time that citizens speak out. Some legislators are concerned that they will be voted out of office if they raise taxes. It would make more sense that they be voted out of office if they don't make an investment in the future of our state by adequately funding public education.

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