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Letter to the Editor in the Wichita Eagle Regarding K-12 Education

April 24, 2012

I found it ironic that The Eagle editorial board labeled the Kansas Policy Institute’s K-12 education newspaper ads as “misleading” when the same editorial stated that state per-pupil base aid had been “slashed” to 1999 levels (“Chappell invited rebuke,” April 19 Eagle Editorial).
Base state aid per pupil is but one part of the state investment in our public schools. When looking at total state aid, the estimated 2011-12 amount is more than a billion dollars above the 1999 level. Adding in local and federal aid, estimated expenditures for Kansas are at an all-time high.
The editorial pointed out that “thousands of professionals across the state are dedicated to helping Kansas schoolchildren.” I agree, but would point out that Kansas taxpayers deserve an honest discussion regarding how their tax dollars are being spent. This discussion should be welcomed with open arms.
KPI has repeatedly invited the Kansas State Department of Education and Wichita school officials to take part in a public forum. To date, the invitations have been rejected. Perhaps The Eagle editorial board will encourage school officials to reconsider, but I won’t hold my breath.

Derrick Sontag
Kansas State Director
Americans for Prosperity

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