THE BLOCK GRANT BILL

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Risk concept

Block grants are a risk we can’t afford to take with our children’s future.

 

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  •  It makes no sense to repeal the current formula on the hope that something better might get adopted in a couple of years.

  • Repealing the formula ends low enrollment weighting. School districts will never see it again. The existence of your district could very well be determined by this bill.

  • The block grant completely moves away from a cost based formula. If your district has high at-risk and bilingual populations, your district survival could very well be wrapped up in this vote. These populations have been increasing and they bring with them increased costs.

  • The block grant continues forever according to the bill. This means that annually the legislature will simply debate an appropriation amount and schools will be left to fend for  themselves.

  • The block grant bills balance the budget on the backs of poor districts by prorating equalization funding for capital outlay and LOB. This is a wealth based disparity and is forbidden. The Supreme Court just said the state cannot do this.

  • Repealing the existing formula will NOT stop the lawsuit. The unconstitutional finding was that the schools are underfunded. Under the block grant the schools will still be underfunded. The lawsuit will still continue.

  • The block grant locks in current demographics and costs forever unless your district can win in a trek to Topeka and convince someone that you have “extraordinary need.”   The current formula readily adapts funding to changing circumstances. As your demographics and costs change, the formula compensates.

  • The touted extension of flexibility is a great sound bite but schools have not been hamstrung under the current formula. Adequate flexibility already exists.

  • The block grant cuts operational funding this year and in future years. Almost all increases are for KPERS catchup payments.

  • If you are not using your full LOB authority, you will lose it. If you wish to move to an election and 33% LOB you will not be able to do so.

  • There is no incentive to continue all day Kindergarten. Districts may be forced to cut back to half day Kindergarten. This is not good for kids.

  • The current formula works. Just fund it. If you cannot fund it completely do the best you can.

  • Much of the flexibility comes at the expense of removing accountability. The separate funds existed to assure moneys were spent for a particular purpose.

  • School districts do NOT support this change, contrary to the party line expressed at its unveiling.  Not one school district testified in favor of this bill.

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