Daily Archives: Jan. 30, 2013

Prisons have become mental health centers

Since 2006, there has been a 126 percent increase in mentally ill prisoners in Kansas, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. Now, nearly 2 in 5 Kansas adult inmates are mentally ill. After the Newtown, Conn., shooting, Gov. Sam Brownback proposed redirecting $5 million in funding to community mental health centers (whose grants had been cut sharply recent years) and $5 million to new regional recovery support centers.

65 percent threshold is arbitrary, unscientific

Gov. Sam Brownback should listen to the head of his school efficiency task force, who noted that the focus on getting 65 percent of school funding “into the classroom” isn’t very useful. “The 65 percent is really an arbitrary number, and there’s no science behind the fact that it either does or does not provide an optimal education for kids,” Ken Willard, a Kansas State Board of Education member from Hutchinson, told lawmakers this week. He also noted that the federal data that Brownback has used to complain about school spending doesn’t include costs that most people would consider instructional, such as counselors and librarians.