Several Kansas school districts and the state legislature have been battling for two decades over school funding. It’s gone all the way to the Kansas Supreme Court which is expected to rule on the issue of “adequate funding” within a year or sooner. So far more than a dozen different Kansas judges over the past 20 years have come to the same conclusion – that the legislature is shortchanging Kansas education.
This is set against a backdrop of a downturned economy and Governor Brownback’s experimental strategy to cut income taxes in hopes of attracting more business to Kansas. The result is fewer tax dollars to fund state services including and most importantly education. Education funding cuts already are in progress. Parents are seeing class sizes on the rise, school fee’s going up and increases in local property taxes to make up for the loss of state education funding.
Opponents of public education want the privatization of schools, or a free market approach to education; as well as a shift of funding from the state to local property taxes. Their tactic is to cut public funding of schools that pits groups of students, rich and poor, western and urban, against each other in a competition for education.
Schools for Fair Funding Wants:
SFFF wants funding restored. The funding formula works fairly; it just needs to be funded. School districts know how to educate our children; they just need the funding to do it.
What’s at Stake?
- Fewer services for Kansas school kids. For example, funding cuts take away librarians, nurses, counselors who provide a safer, healthier and richer educational experience.
- Centralizes control of education in Topeka.
- Smaller school districts are forced to consolidate, which threatens small towns and a rural way of life.
- Higher property taxes for local school districts when districts have to turn to local taxes to meet their budgets.
Why is this Important?
Public education is the bedrock of our communities. It is the foundation for our future prosperity and the stability of our communities. Our public schools provide a productive workforce that has the skills, ability and training to help solve problems and informed citizens who contribute to a quality of life. Funding cuts and the loss of constitutional protections will dismantle community and neighborhood public schools K-12. Save our Schools.