Let's talk School Finance

Presently the Kansas Senate considers cutting $2 million dollars to the Lawrence school district. Apparently unwilling to invest significant new money in our public schools, the Kansas Senate considers shuffling money within the overall education budget to meet the Kansas Supreme Court ruling on providing more equity between school districts. While Kansas has made the fourth-deepest cut in educational funding in the nation since the recession, the Kansas Senate now proposes to make further cuts in base per-pupil funding for virtual education, reducing funds to improve reading and math proficiency, reducing funds for at risk students, and reducing transportation funds. Please contact Senator Susan Wagle, the Senate President from Wichita Susan.Wagle@senate.ks.gov, that robbing Peter to pay Paul is unacceptable. Read the Article

 

Representative Marc Rhoades, a Newton Republican and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, concluded that Republican Kansas legislators are trying to limit the amount of new money that goes into complying with the court school funding order. Rhoades describes it as a “real chore” to get a majority of Republicans to agree to spend tens of millions of dollars more in new money on schools. Sadly, kindergartners appear to be a big loser in this legislative deal making.

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Within the new school finance bill (HB 2774) Lawrence schools stand to lose $190,000 for student transportation. This would be in addition to substantive cuts over the past few years.

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"This is a no-brainer of sorts. There is a simple solution here and that is to pass the bill that I introduced that would fund the $129 million, and do it as a clean bill. That's what the court wants us to do." - Paul Davis, House Minority Leader

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