Educate Our Children
Inequitable: Two Sets of Rules.
Where schools are concerned, Kansas City plays by two sets of rules. In the Northland, very few property taxes are taken from schools. If the school district objects, the issue is taken seriously and tax abatement deals are typically renegotiated.
South of the river, tax incentives divert tens of millions in school funds. This harms charter schools and school districts including Center, Hickman Mills, Kansas City and others.
Tax incentive harm to districts that primarily serve children of color is no coincidence. See our discussion of institutional racism. South of the river, schools’ objections to having their revenue diverted are often met with derision from developers and even some elected leaders.
What is the cost? Susan Stocking, with children in the KCPS school district, said "our public education system has been denied the benefits of economic development for multiple generations. Kansas City has not passed a bond or voted to raise the property tax levy to support public education in over half a century. At the same time we are deprived of tens of millions of dollars every year because of tax incentives. My family chose public education. We believe that all children are entitled to safe, comfortable, bright, enriching schools. Our children need world class teachers, technology, tools and resources in order to become the thriving workforce we need to move this city forward. Public education IS economic development."