Who continues to pay the price of this failed tax policy? The kids of Kansas. Take, for example, the treatment of youth in foster care. “The state of Kansas has literally lost children because we decided to trim spending in this reprehensible manner,” LaFrenz said, referencing the 70 kids missing from the state’s foster care system.
Members of the Kansas legislature were surprised last month when they learned that the Department for Children and Families cannot account for dozens of foster children that were supposed to be under state care. But the foster system, managed by private contractors, has faced high turnover from social workers hoping to leave the heavy caseloads and low pay behind.
The budget dysfunction also deeply affects Kansas schools. As LaFrenz pointed out, the Kansas Supreme Court has ruled multiple times that the state’s low education spending is unconstitutional. But the state’s tax system continues to burden the legislature as it considers how to adequately fund schools.