Brownback and Davis clash on education plan

WICHITA, Kansas – The latest KSN News Poll has Republican Governor Sam Brownback behind Democrat challenger Paul Davis, the Minority Leader in the Kansas House.

In a poll with a +/- margin of error of 4.3%, Brownback is getting 40% of the vote while Davis is getting 48% of the vote.

The number one issue for likely voters in November is education and funding.

KSN is asking the candidates, what their plan is for education. Neither candidate is offering a “ten point plan” on what they will do for education. But, both say they have a very different approach.

“The truth is that state funding for education is at record levels,” says Brownback. “I have increased funding for schools every year I have been in office and will continue to do so.  We are funding our schools, helping our children succeed and strengthening the pension system for our educators.”

Paul Davis does not agree.

“A lot of people are really concerned about the cuts Governor Brownback has made,” says Davis. “We’ve seen the consequences of it.”

Davis says Kansas needs to fund more for K-12 education, but is not giving a specific dollar amount or a time frame. He says Kansas needs to improve the economy, bring in more money, and then fund more for K-12 education.

Davis goes on to say, he does not want to raise taxes now, a concern of Brownback.

“What we have proposed is that we freeze the income tax rates where they’re going to be on January 1 of 2015,” says Davis. “We are not proposing that we’re going to increase taxes on any Kansan from where they’re going to be January 1 of 2015.”

Click to view the Aug 26 poll
Click to view the Aug 26 poll

“Well, this is going to take time,” says Davis. “I think what it’s important for us to do is to get our economy moving again and using proven ways to do that.”

Davis says tax breaks by Governor Brownback are not working, and it’s hurting our economy and, ultimately, school finance.

Sam Brownback does not agree.

“We have to get our economy going,” Brownback told KSN this summer. “But our focus all along has been that the government has enough money. We need to see the people of Kansas have enough money and it will create more jobs.”

Brownback says his approach has already led the way to getting more money for schools in the last legislative session.

Brownback says lawmakers responded to a couple of school lawsuits over funding, as the Kansas Supreme Court mandated at least $129 Million more for schools.

Brownback points to $73 Million more for schools in cash, and the option for schools to raise their own money through local option budgets.

Davis says he will continue to fight for more money for education. Brownback says schools have more money, and it’s time to fund things like the teacher retirement system and higher education.

Brownback has been campaigning throughout the state at schools and technical schools on Wednesday. Davis plans on meeting with groups over the coming months to find ways to get more money for education.

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