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Teachers protest governor at Kansas Statehouse

Associated Press - May 17, 2014 2:03 pm

Restoring state funding for higher education is a structural way to keep college costs down for students, the head of Kansas' governing board of education said after a community college announced plans to develop a degree costing just $15,000.

A few hundred teachers and education advocates have rallied at the Kansas Statehouse to protest what they view as anti-public school policies from Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

The American Federation of Teachers and the Kansas National Education Association organized Saturday’s rally. The protest and other events came on the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic Brown v. Board of Education decision declaring segregated schools unconstitutional.

Rally participants criticized Brownback for championing massive personal income tax cuts. They also argued that the state isn’t adequately funding its schools, even with the passage of a plan this year to boost aid to poor districts.

Brownback has said the tax cuts are boosting the economy and opened his re-election campaign this week by declaring Kansas a “lighthouse” for other states.