In recent months, Gov. Sam Brownback has blamed his predecessor for a $2 billion spending hike that never happened and taken credit for spending cuts he didn’t actually make.
Brownback has also touted — and lamented — a statistic that only 54 percent of the money spent on education in Kansas actually finds its way into the classroom, a figure at odds with the 61.9 percent that Kansas reports to the federal government.
Those inaccuracies and some other technically accurate – but potentially misleading – numbers are contained in a PowerPoint presentation that Brownback has delivered for months to opinion leaders throughout the state, including a recent presentation at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce.
Brownback’s numbers matter because they’re being used by his administration and the Legislature to guide and justify state spending policy decisions, especially in education. The governor has used his presentation to drum up public support for plans to cut income taxes and to resist a recent court decision that found the state isn’t meeting its constitutional mandate to provide adequate funding for schools.
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