Pennywise and pound foolish

Sam Brownback

Sam Brownback might be one of the worst Republican governors in the nation — and he’s up against some stiff competition:

At least eight Kansas school districts are starting summer break early in response to the state’s midyear education funding cut.

The move has put increased pressure on Governor Sam Brownback, whose “experiment” with reducing income tax to incite economic growth is partially responsible for the state’s projected $800m budget shortfall going into the next fiscal year, which begins on 1 July.

In an effort to ameliorate that gap, Brownback in March cut $51m from the budget for the current school year – pushing schools to trim the school year and eliminate and cut education programs.

Marguerite Roza, a research associate professor at Georgetown University and director of the Edunomics Lab, which explores education finances, said it is rare for states to do midyear budget cuts.

“Midyear cuts are some of the worst,” Roza said, explaining that school officials have to reallocate resources last minute and that many staffers plan their lives around receiving a certain income, that could then be reduced.