School Finance Update

School Finance Update

The Kansas Supreme Court Gannon 5 decision last summer said that the school funding formula was inadequately funded, and contained 4 points of Constitutional inequity.

The general consensus among those across the education community was that around $600-$700 million in new funding, phased in over about 3 years would likely address funding inadequacy, but there was pushback from those who didn’t want to add this kind of funding.

Lawmakers said that courts required them to “show their work”, so House & Senate leadership commissioned another study, rather than adjusting the most recent one done in 2006 for inflation.

The recent Lori Taylor / WestEd study found that Kansas has some of the most efficient schools in the nation, averaging a rate of over 96 percent! The study also found that outcomes such as graduation rates and test scores are inextricably linked to funding. To meet Kansas Department of Education and Federal ESSA outcomes, around $1.7-$2.1 billion of new money is needed to meet those targets. This affords the state of Kansas the flexibility to invest in the success of our students when evaluated overall.

The state of Kansas has set lofty goals. Legislators have discussed the need for a responsible, long-term solution that won’t leave the rest of the needs of Kansas behind. This requires funding K12 education and the rest of the budget over time.

Stay tuned for PTA action alerts as education bills are now being worked in the Statehouse.

For a deeper dive into school finance history, here are some articles we recommend:

Thanks, and as always feel free to reach out to me & SMAC-PTA leadership with questions or concerns!

Devin Wilson
PTA Legislative Chair
Twitter @SMAC_PTA, @ksucats96