Editorial Commentary: Ken Ciboski

Political commentator Ken Ciboski stands just right of center and offers a common-sense view of politics today.

Ken Ciboski's editorial commentary is also available on iTunes. Listen or subscribe here.

The state legislature, under an edict of the Kansas Supreme Court to fund K-12 education adequately, passed in the last minutes of this year’s session a $500 million+ measure in new funding to cover the next five years. This will be reviewed by the court for funding adequacy. 

Some behaviors of President Trump have caused political scientists, historians and other observers to wonder how committed he is to the democratic rules of the political game. Early in the election campaign, he had praise for Russian president Vladimir Putin and he displayed a fascination with other autocratic leaders such as Kim Jong Un of North Korea. 

Since Donald Trump’s inauguration in January, his inner circle of trusted advisors has decreased. This past week, Hope Hicks, who was like a daughter to the president, was the fourth communications director to leave the administration. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was stripped of high-level security clearance because of potential conflicts of interest. A question now could be: Who wants to work in the White House and have their reputation damaged?

Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and the possible collusion of the Trump campaign with the Russians in an effort to defeat Hillary Clinton is continuing. The investigation could break wide open. 

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election is likely to continue for some time.

Who will win the race for governor of Kansas this year?

I think that Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer are the leading candidates for the Republican nomination.  Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer is also coming on as a possible strong contender, and he has had some success in raising money.

stacey_newman / Getty Images/iStockphoto

The coming session of the state legislature has the major task of providing what the Kansas Supreme Court says is adequate funding for K-12 schools.  The court has not said what the word “adequate” means. However, the Kansas Court adheres to what is known as the Rose standards.

The Kansas Legislature will take up the Supreme Court’s mandate to provide more funding for K-12 schools. But money alone will not fix the problem of having large numbers of students not performing well academically. Money is rarely the solution to the problems of educational systems. 

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled earlier this fall that funding of K-12 schools is inadequate and unfair. The ruling also ordered that funding be more fair in distributing state funding so that students in poorer districts have the same educational opportunities as students in the more affluent districts.

Why do students from Finland perform at the top or near the top in reading, mathematics and science, in industrialized countries? 

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