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April 12, 2014

Because the Kansas Supreme Court did not instruct legislators last month precisely how much additional funding it would take to ensure adequate public education -- opting instead to let a lower court figure it out -- lawmakers are ignoring that part of the ruling.

April 10, 2014

Seriously ... what’s the matter with Kansas?

The Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill with bi-partisan support Friday that addressed inequities in school funding as needed to satisfy a March 7 ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court. The 91-31 vote was focused on solving the funding problem and was praised by both Gov. Sam Brownback and Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis, which is a feat. State Rep. Blaine Finch, R-Ottawa, helped bridge the gap with votes for the bi-partisan bill, however, what happened next is where things went awry with parliamentary games and procedural shenanigans.

January 15, 2014

The first real test of the political winds of 2014 will have a Democratic woman, Alex Sink, running in a special election for a House seat in Florida. From there, some of 2014’s most pivotal races will have women at the center, from Alison Lundergan Grimes aiming at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to Michelle Nunn fueling Democratic optimism in red Georgia, to two women running against each other for an open West Virginia Senate seat. Two of the most vulnerable incumbents in the same chamber, Mary Landrieu and Kay Hagan, are also women.

January 9, 2014

KANSAS, like every state, explicitly guarantees a free public education in its Constitution, affirming America’s founding belief that only an educated citizenry can preserve democracy and safeguard individual liberty and freedom.

And yet in recent years Kansas has become the epicenter of a new battle over the states’ obligation to adequately fund public education. Even though the state Constitution requires that it make “suitable provision” for financing public education, Gov. Sam Brownback and the Republican-led Legislature have made draconian cuts in school spending, leading to a lawsuit that now sits before the state Supreme Court.

December 6, 2013

 — Delving into the case of a former journalist turned disability activist, a presidential panel pressed state officials Thursday to explain why some Kansans with disabilities no longer qualify for the services they got before the state privatized the health-care system.

December 6, 2013

A new report from the non-partisan OpenSecrets blog shows that political giving by the Koch Brothers is as strong as ever.

OpenSecrets determined that the Kochs are outpacing all other groups in giving to so-called “dark money” groups that aren’t required to disclose their donors.

November 21, 2013

Kansas most assuredly remains a Republican voting state, but that doesn’t mean the GOP has a lock on the governor’s office or any other statewide position. Kansas is one of 15 states with gubernatorial races that might switch parties during the coming election, according to a recent report in the Washington Post.

November 15, 2013

Fresh off a landslide reelection victory last week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is set to take the reins of the Republican Governors Association. This much we know: Christie will inherit a landscape in which he will have his work cut out for him.

October 21, 2013

Kansas remains a great place to Iive, and Kansans are optimistic about the future, but they also revealed a significant amount of uncertainty in the fifth annual Kansas Speaks survey of public opinion in the state.

Overall, according to Fort Hays State University's Docking Institute of Public Affairs, Kansans who responded to the 2013 Kansas Speaks survey are feeling caught between different forces and unsure about what the future will hold.

October 15, 2013

In signing a five-year, $3.7 billion tax cut, Gov. Sam Brownback took the position that cutting taxes did more to create jobs than meeting per-student aid formulas. That dodgy rationale was argued in the State Supreme Court last week when a group of school districts and parents sued for their fair share of aid under the State Constitution’s “suitable provision” mandate. State spending on education has fallen an estimated 16.5 percent since 2008, including $500 million in cuts under the Brownback administration, resulting in teacher layoffs and larger class sizes.

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