While the tax cut experiment didn’t create jobs, it did destroy the Kansas budget, and one major consequence of that has been massive funding cuts for Kansas schools. Several districts ended the school year early for lack of funds. Education funding levels are so low, and unequal across school districts, that judges have ruled them unconstitutional and the case is currently pending at the state Supreme Court.
Kansas’ teacher pay is among the lowest in the nation. The Kansas legislature has removed teachers’ tenure protections, tried to make it possible to criminally prosecute them for teaching offensive material, and attempted to weaken collective bargaining. Teachers are retiring in fear that the state will soon target their retirement benefits, one superintendent from a nearbyMissouri school district said.
There are double the normal openings for school staff in Kansas, teachers are quitting and retiring at high rates, and new teachers aren’t looking to start careers in Kansas. The Independence, Missouri School District has billboards to lure teachers from over the border, and they’ve seen an doubling in applicants with Kansas addresses, even as applicants from Iowa and Arkansas have held steady.
A piece of legislation written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) now allows several Kansas school systems to hire unlicensed teachers to fill the gap.
Republicans got exactly what they've been calling for nationally in Kansas: major teacher pay cuts, retirement benefit cuts, tenure system loss, weakened teachers' unions, all of which were supposed to magically improve the system, get rid of "lazy bad teachers making too much money" and make super smart kids.
Kansas education is a wasteland, teachers are fleeing and giant corporate lobbyist ALEC wants to turn schools into factories churning out ignorant, compliant workers.
All part of the plan.