I grew up in Kansas. I love Kansas. I want to raise my family in Kansas. But it has gotten pretty darn difficult to defend that sentiment in recent years. And it Just. Keeps. Getting. Worse.
With all that is going on – or not going on as it were – the lack of school funding, the MILLIONS of dollars of tax revenue deficits every single month, the business economy, the job market – I’m thinking that Texas is looking pretty good. Or Utah or Colorado, California or Ohio… anywhere that I can move and raise my kids having confidence in the school system, the local economy and in quality of life in general.
I just don’t feel that that place is Kansas anymore. I’m scared for us. I really am.
According to this article by the Wichita Eagle, Kansas ranks as number 46 in the nation regarding state economy. FORTY-SIX out of fifty-one! (including the District of Columbia)
It seems that every day there is a new article floating around my Facebook news feed about school funding or the state economy, the oil & gas industry or the court system. Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get any worse – BAM! Really, Kansas?!
It is getting so hard to want to stay. I am dumbfounded.
A friend of mine left her job as an elementary school teacher this year. She has been in the school system for nearly twenty years, and now she is scared for her job. How awful! To leave a job that she loves, that we desperately NEED and that she is good at, all because she is afraid she won’t be getting a paycheck come fall. The really sad part? I can’t say I blame her.
How could we allow this to happen?
There is no stability in any aspect of our school system. Longer school days? THAT is the answer? I don’t think so, Kansas.
A co-worker of mine ran into one of her son’s school teachers at the grocery store several weeks back. They got to talking about summer programs and latch-key. The teacher mentioned that she should have a backup for her son this summer “just in case”. This co-worker of mine is a single parent, with limited funds allocated to child care and only so many days she can take off from work. What is she to do?
She is not the only one. There are countless families that are facing similar circumstances and it is downright scary.
I don’t know how to fix this. I am not a politician and I do not have the answer. I simply know that the way things are going – it can’t continue. This is not sustainable.
Some may say that I am “just a coupon blogger” and that I have no business discussing the state economy. But the fact is that I am “just a parent” as well as “just a citizen” of Kansas. I am concerned and I am disturbed. I am disgusted with the way things are going and I know that I am not the only one.
I have never talked politics on this blog. I make it a point to stay neutral because, well, you just never know who is reading and what they are thinking. But this time? I can’t stay silent.
I hope that the right people DO read this blog, and I hope this gets shared and shared and shared so that it gets in front of the right people’s faces. We the people, right?
I can’t sit and watch this mess go down around me without letting my voice be heard. I want to STAY here, and to raise my boys here, and retire here, and I want to do it with confidence.
We are bigger than this, Kansas.
Sincerely, a concerned Kansan.