I share this as a reminder that we should always question if our individual experiences and perceptions are representative of the challenges and problems of others. This is a fundamental building block of sympathy, and developing the skills and motivation to help fight the fights with and for people even though we ourselves might not suffer their plight first-hand.

Issues, Kansas

Interesting to see this coming up in the news again, especially after the legislature took action to correct the matter after the initial ruling.

“Acting on earlier direction from the state Supreme Court, the Shawnee County District Court panel concluded that current funding falls short of what are called the “Rose standards,” a multi-part test for adequacy of school spending outlined in a Kentucky case and adopted by courts across the country.” Court rules school funding is inadequate under Kansas Constitution, The Wichita Eagle

For those unfamiliar, with regard to the constitutional requirements of the state in matters of educational funding, the Kansas constitution states:

The legislature shall make suitable provision for finance of the educational interests of the state. Article 6, Section 6, part B

The “educational interests of the state” are then further outlined in KSA 72-1127. It’s a fairly complicated entanglement of principles, made more difficult since the base cost to accomplish those goals has no definite number (what the court calls a “bright line”). But as such, the courts stopped short of actually telling the legislature how much they had to fund, and only declared that the current funding levels clearly cannot satisfy KSA 72-1127.

The real struggle that’s interesting is finding where that balance is between being flat out underfunded, and just being asked to create new efficiencies which tighter budgets. Obviously it’s not a bad thing to evaluate if we’re overpaying for educational outcomes. It’s tough though when there isn’t so much a line in the sand, as you’re just dealing with a zone that encompasses the whole beach.

Culture, Politics

Had someone share this article with me this morning, and after reading it, thought it was worth sharing. Please, take a few minutes and read this. Then take a few more minutes and genuinely consider the problems we want to address in this country, and how one solves those problems. Not in terms of ideology, but genuine problem-solution thinking. Think about how ideology factors into solution engineering, and more specifically, how ideology can be used as a means of misdirection by those in power against the voters. There’s a term for the people being described in this article – “Useful idiots“.

Culture and Congress, principle and politics – we have to learn to separate these values. Culture, religion, and morals are not something you enforce under threat of punishment. It’s something you grow by winning the hearts and minds of your neighbors through the building of virtuous models. It comes through your actions, not your votes or your wallet.

“So why am I writing you this letter? Because, also unlike my liberal friends, I’m actually on your side, in some ways. I’m an ordained rabbi, and someone deeply concerned with the vulgarization and sexualization of our society. You and I disagree about the solution to this problem, of course, but we agree that there is a problem.”
Dear Evangelicals: You’re Being Had by Jay Michaelson