FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 20, 2022
SCHMIDT’S “SCHOOL SAFETY PLAN” ANOTHER ELECTION-YEAR PLOY TO REWRITE HISTORY OF STANDING BY BROWNBACK
Wichita, KS – Today, Derek Schmidt held a campaign press conference outlining yet another election-year gimmick. Schmidt is hoping Kansans have forgotten about his history of standing behind Sam Brownback as his failed “tax experiment” tanked the state’s economy, underfunded public education, and stole $2.6 billion from the Kansas Highway Fund – even defending Brownback’s cuts to public schools that cost taxpayers at least $1.4 million.
“If Schmidt was actually serious about school safety, he wouldn’t have defended chronically underfunded public schools caused by Brownback’s ‘tax experiment’ that left our students, teachers, and classrooms without basic necessities,” said Emma O’Brien, spokesperson for the KDP. “While Schmidt hopes Kansans look the other way about his record of standing by Brownback as his ‘tax experiment’ decimated our public schools, and even wasted taxpayer dollars defending cuts to public education in court, Kansans know the truth, and know the only way to protect our public schools and invest in school safety is to re-elect Governor Laura Kelly.”
Despite what Schmidt wants Kansans to think, the truth is that he defended Brownback’s deep cuts to public education, costing taxpayers at least $1.4 million, and the lawsuit he defended began as a fight over the school funding plan he supported in the state legislature while serving as Senate Majority Leader. Personnel and school resources were in jeopardy under Brownback’s cuts, including even basic necessities like salaries for teachers, nurses, and other essential staff to keep our students safe.
The unconstitutionally low school funding continued as a result of Sam Brownback’s tax cuts, and only came to an end after Laura Kelly was elected. Since being elected, Governor Laura Kelly has fully funded public schools for four years in a row. Governor Kelly allocated $10.5 million to school districts for grants to address mental health, and supports expanding Medicaid. Derek Schmidt opposes Medicaid expansion, which would increase access to mental health resources for 150,000 Kansans.