NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1048015
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0748-8475
Ventello, Gregg Primo
Thought & Action, p75-82 Fall 2014
Every state in the U.S. has language in its constitution guaranteeing to its citizens a free public education, yet many states are failing to meet this fundamental right. From New York to California, lawsuits have been brought against state governors and legislatures who have not funded schools adequately. The field of false prophets grows and sermons on "reform" and on improving "teacher quality" only veil the very real problem of poverty as the source of students' educational failures. Swindlers blame teachers and unions, even going so far as to claim that the schools are full of excess and greed. The founding American tenet that a healthy democracy requires a free public education is being challenged, and Kansas may well be the frontline, with the "New York Times" calling the state "the epicenter of a new battle over states' obligation to adequately fund public education." Last October, a "New York Times" editorial titled "Shortchanging Kansas Schoolchildren" criticized Governor Sam Brownback and the Kansas State Legislature. The "Times" editorial board wrote in support of a state court decision to increase education funding in Kansas, and they distrusted the decision made by Kansas lawmakers, after the state reported a boost in revenue, to create "huge tax cuts" instead of to restore school funding. Kansas education spending "has fallen an estimated 16.5 percent since 2008, including $500 million in cuts under the Brownback administration." In response to this criticism, Brownback sent a letter to the "New York Times" in which he wrote, "Kansas has great schools." Author Gregg Ventello teaches in Kansas and was surprised to read that. Ventello writes in this article that while it is true Kansas has strong schools, this is not the message that has been conveyed in word or action by Governor Brownback, by his administration, or by the supermajority in the Kansas State Legislature. Instead, like officials in many states, Brownback has taken the position that public education is wasteful and inefficient.
National Education Association. 1201 16th Street NW Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-833-4000; Fax: 202-822-7974; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kansas