JMart writes in the comments:
The assault on public education in this state is a “perfect storm” (forgive the cliche of the moment) of greed, denial and proselytizing.
Here’s greed: My grandparents and my parents made sacrifices, made do with less, to try to hand down a better life to the next generation. But I’m a baby boomer. Screw that. It’s all about me. I want my tax cuts. How else am I going to pay for gasoline for my V‑8 SUV when it’s over two bucks a gallon.
Here’s denial (western Kansas version): I’m a farmer, my father was a farmer, my grandfather was a farmer. My kids can be farmers, too. Never mind that the fossil aquifer is running dry. Never mind that the federal government that pays the crop price supports that make this life possible is bankrupting itself with deficits. What has always been will always be.
(Eastern Kansas Version) It doesn’t matter what those farmers out west think. It doesn’t matter what those judges in the Supreme Court think. We can raise enough money from local taxpayers to have excellent schools here, even if they’re absolute crap everywhere else in the state. As long as we keep clicking our heels together and wishing with all our might, it can happen.
(Shawnee Mission district version) We’re still rich and elite. Really. There’s no decline here. No darker-skinned people speaking languages other than English, no Section 8 housing, no poverty. Things are no different than they were in 1975. Really.
And now the Big guy, proselytizing: Good public schools keep people out of our Christian madrassas. We have to cut the living daylights out of public education so the schools will be viewed as failing. With the money we save on taxes, we can pump up the quality of our religious schools and parents will feel compelled to send their kids to our indoctrination centers, and we can brainwash them to our hearts’ content.
And that is what (some) Republicans have against school funding.
I keep promising my take on the assault on pub. ed., but it’ll wait a little longer, since the bandages on my finger are slowing my typing. This is a nice summary of the political geography of Kansas, and how it plays out on so many issues. The rich east, the poor, rural west, the authoritarians lying in wait to snatch up anyone who gets a little mixed up.