The coming session of the state legislature has the major task of providing what the Kansas Supreme Court says is adequate funding for K-12 schools. The court has not said what the word “adequate” means. However, the Kansas Court adheres to what is known as the Rose standards.
This refers to a 1989 Kentucky case, Rose v. Council. Those who study education law argue that this case was a turning point in school finance litigation. The Rose ruling included a list of seven skill sets that schools should help students reach at a sufficient level.
They are: 1. oral and written communication skills; 2. knowledge of economic, social and political systems so that students can make informed choices; 3. Learning about governmental processes to help students understand how issues affect their community, state, and nation; 4. knowledge of their own mental and physical wellness; 5. Learning about the arts in order for students to appreciate their cultural and historical heritage; 6. Preparing students for advanced training in academic or vocational fields so that they can pursue life work intelligently; 7. To acquire academic or vocational skills to enable them to compete favorably with their counterparts in surrounding states in academics or in the job market.
But still, I think that providing many millions of dollars more for the present system of K-12 education will not bring the desired improvement in the academic performance of students. I think that a more effective approach to improve academic performance in the long run would be to promote early childhood literacy with the funding and establishment of free and voluntary pre-school education.