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Kansas tried an old-fashioned economic experiment — and its schools suffered.

Kansas has been the site of a massive live experiment — and we can learn a lot from its results, especially in Trump's America.

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Civic Ventures

In 2010, Sam Brownback became the governor of Kansas with the goal of creating a conservative utopia out of Kansas.

The state would become the grand example of how to create prosperity and opportunity through ultra conservative principles, and there was one way Governor Brownback was going to get it there: a trickle-down economy.

Through tax cuts, money would trickle down to the middle and lower classes, creating jobs and expanding business. So, in 2012, Brownback cut income taxes, largely benefiting the wealthiest Kansans, and eliminated taxes entirely for the owners of 330,000 businesses and farms.

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Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
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With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

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