Protesters march to Statehouse to push for Kansas revenue reform

Published: Mar. 27, 2017 at 4:05 PM CDT
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People from across the state added a twist to their annual march to draw attention to public school funding.

"Every year I think about sitting home the next year and nobody else wants to do it, why should I do it, but I just can't do that," said Shelli Cranmer, an Andover teacher who marched Monday.

Concerned Kansans rallied the statehouse hoping to restore revenue.

"Everything kind of revolves around this issue. You're seeing a shortage of social workers in DCFS, we have an infrastructure that is going to need to be taken care of, and we keep borrowing money from K-DOT," said Lauren Van Wagoner who marched Monday.

The group is asking for fair taxation. They say it involves repealing the LLC exemption, reinstating the top third income tax tier, and repealing Governor Brownback's "glide path to zero" income tax plan.

They say the revenue question directly affects Kansas schools.

"I'm doing it for my kids. I want my kids to want to stay in Kansas when they're adults, and I don't want them to be left with a burden my generation left on them," said Van Wagoner.

"I feel really badly for these Kansas kids now because they're not having that well rounded experience, and they don't get their childhood back," said Cranmer.

Elementary students Dimajio Allen and Addison Dasiova were among some who walked to Topeka from other parts of the state, to share their experience.

"My grade only had three classes, and there were 30 people in each class, and that was way too much people in a classroom and we had to get another teacher halfway through the year," said Dasiova.

With a June 30th court deadline looming, supporters say this might be the year for real change.

"We have a different climate here in the Kansas legislature this year so I'm hoping that everyone can work together for what is best for Kansans," said Van Wagoner.

Lawmakers passed a tax plan last month, but it was vetoed by Governor Brownback.

A house committee wrapped up three days of hearing on a new school funding proposal Monday.