26 October 2003
Barking out of the manger
This is, you should pardon the expression, rich.
Johnson County, Kansas, one of the wealthiest counties in the country, last year passed a three-year, 0.25-cent sales tax increase to raise money for the six county school districts.
Wyandotte County, just to the north (it includes the city of Kansas City, Kansas), has now sued those districts and the commissioners of Johnson County for violating Kansas' equal-opportunity education laws; apparently the $200 extra per pupil now available to Johnson County students puts them at an unfair advantage.
"We want everyone to have the same opportunities, and we want those opportunities to be few and far between." They're not saying so with their words, but they're certainly saying so with their actions.
From Irreconcilable Musings:
The reality that everyone in this debate refuses to acknowledge is that you cannot directly link suitability of education to dollars spent. While it goes without saying that communities must adequately invest in their schools, the truth of the matter is that it does not cost the same to educate a child in Blue Valley as it does in Coffeyville or Ulysses or Wichita or Hays. The cost of living is different, impacting salaries. The cost of facilities and utilities are different. The cost of transportation is different. Because of these and other cost variations, it makes no sense for the state government to impose a one-size-fits-all funding formula for rural, suburban and urban districts. They have tried and failed for ten years to do this, because we cling to the notion that the only way to measure the quality of a child's education is in dollars.
Dollars that they would rather spend in legal fees than in the classroom, apparently.
In the meantime, what's to stop Wyandotte County from enacting some form of supplemental funding in their schools? Naw. Too much like taxation. If we can't keep up with the Johnsons, let's just drag the Johnsons down.