Yesterday, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law HB 2506, a bill that meets the mandates set down by the Kansas Supreme Court in March with their ruling on the Ganon v. State of Kansas decision. However, it wasn’t a clean and clear cut bill. The bill also took due process away from K-12 public school teachers in a tricky way–they were simply removed from the definition of teacher. They were the victims of strikeout. Literally crossed out of the previous definition.
On the day he signed the bill, the press release from the Governor’s office led with this statement: “Governor Sam Brownback today will sign HB 2506 to fund education, fully address the equity issues identified in the Gannon court decision, return local control to communities and school districts, provide bonuses to our best teachers and invest in higher education.”
It’s important to remember that “best teachers” no longer include the vast majority of educators in this state, by definition.
Sadly, as I recall from my not so long ago days as a non-traditional student at a Kansas community college, there are many educators out there that choose to teach in higher education because they are not held to the same rigorous standards and are not put under the same scrutiny as those people who choose to educate our children. That ‘s not to say I didn’t have a few great professors–I certainly did. But to disenfranchise the people who teach my children from the profession they’ve chosen, some of whom who have devoted several years to because they couldn’t imagine doing anything else, is literally a crying shame. It’s so wrong. And it has nothing to do with education finance. Nothing at all.