Brownback’s Lack of Leadership on Common Core Defunding

brownback_samThe Kansas Senate on Thursday night voted to defund the Common Core State Standards after an amendment to the school finance bill overwhelmingly.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports:

The Kansas Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday night to prohibit schools from spending money to implement the Common Core standards for reading and math.

The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona, was added to a school finance bill that is meant to respond to a recent Supreme Court ruling that said the Legislature must send more aid to to certain school districts to equalize the property tax rates between rich and poor districts.

The Kansas House passed their own version of the bill without any Common Core defunding language.  It is this version that Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R) and his Democratic challenger, House Minority Leader Paul Davis (D-Lawrence) supported.  The House voted 91-31 in favor of the bill.

The conference committee that met over the weekend to reconcile the two bills stripped the Common Core defunding language out.

So Friday after the Senate passed their bill, Brownback came out in support of the House version.

He has made his choice.  He could have showed bold leadership, but did not.  Instead he backed a bill that just increased spending with little guidance.  Also does the Kansas Legislature and Governor Brownback not see the constitutional problems with the Kansas Supreme Court telling them they have to spend more money to be “equitable” for poor schools?

It’s not that the state has been inequitable, the “problem” is that some school districts have a broader property tax base, but I digress.

Governor Brownback showed weak no leadership and it seems like the Senate members within the conference committee lacked the will to fight as the Common Core defunding language was a opening bargaining chip.