Chloe Hough, a former waitress at Boss Hawg’s barbeque in Topeka, Kansas had a message for Governor Sam Brownback: “Tip the schools.”
Ms. Hough delivered the governor’s $52 receipt with the note at the bottom after asking Facebook friends what question she should she ask him when she saw he and his family coming in to dine at the restaurant.
The credit card receipt Hough handed to the governor had a large “X” mark on the tip line and the handwritten instruction: “Tip the schools”. Chloe Hough posted a picture of the receipt online with the caption: “Mic Drop,” which went viral. Ms. Hough told KSNT, local news station that:
“[Brownback] and his followers are robbing Kansas of equal opportunity.” She continues: “I just knew I had to say something or I would regret it.”
Brownback’s moves resulted in a $344 million budget shortfall after he chose to substantially decrease taxes in 2012 and 2013 to spur more economic development in the state. To offset this shortfall, Brownback had to initiate budget cuts, including to the state’s education system.
Brownback’s latest proposal was a $44.5 million budget cut for the state’s higher education institutions and public schools. The proposed bill freezes school funding levels for two years. This will allegedly give policymakers the time to come up with a new more appropriate and accurate education budget formula that will also take into account the slashed education budget of this year.
The bill, which was rushed through Kansas’ legislature, has also upset many teachers, school administrators and citizens, including Hough, who said, “The way I understand it, zero percent of Kansas educators voted for it”.
Brownback has been on the receiving end of heavy criticism in view of his aggressive education budget cut. The Kansas Supreme Court has called his bill “unconstitutional” as it meant the underfunding of some of the already poorest school districts in the state.
Kansas school districts and parents that believed the state violates the Constitution filed a lawsuit back in February on the grounds that their schools are underfunded, Huffington Post’s John Eligon writes. Several schools including Salina Public Schools have been forced to use district fund reserves in response to the cuts.
Hough says her intention was not malevolent and that she merely wanted to voice her objection to the block grants. Coincidentally, the day Chloe Hough gave a tip to Brownback was her last shift at the Topeka restaurant.