school funding

Stephen Koranda

Attorneys for the state say it’s up to lawmakers and the governor to decide if Kansas is spending enough money on education. They made that argument in a filing before the Kansas Supreme Court. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, at issue is whether the Kansas is spending enough to satisfy the state’s Constitution.

Shannan Muskopf, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas students' scores on national reading and math scores tended to rise and fall along with school funding levels, according to a report by the Kansas Association of School Boards.

The board says student performance on national math and reading tests improved between 2003 and 2007 before leveling off until 2011, when it began to fall, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Sean Sandefur

A panel of state officials has approved more than $4 million in emergency aid for 25 Kansas school districts that requested the additional funding. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the money was mostly provided to districts with enrollment growth or falling property values.

Michael B. / flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Supreme Court heard arguments today over the issue of equitable funding for the state's school districts.

Stephen McAllister, an attorney for the state, said lawmakers complied with earlier court rulings by increasing state funding to help reduce inequities. He says lawmakers tried to lock in the funding with a temporary block grant system while they write a new school funding plan.

Bryan Thompson

Nearly 40 Kansas school districts will be asking a panel of lawmakers today for additional state funding.

The requests are from districts that have seen falling property values because of reduced oil prices or have seen increases in their student populations. Those are variables not taken into account in the state’s new block grant system for school funding.

DoDEA Pacific, flickr Creative Commons

Top Republican legislators are asking Kansas school districts seeking extra state aid to provide information about how they've become more efficient in recent years.

Four GOP legislative leaders sent a letter Wednesday to the superintendents of 38 school districts that have applied for extra aid under the state's new education funding law. The districts are seeking about $15 million in funds, but only $12.3 million is available under the law.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter after the state Department of Education sent it.

aptmetaphor / Flickr

The Kansas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in November on whether the school funding law has fixed unconstitutional disparities so that it provides equal educational opportunities for all students.

But it will not be until spring of 2016 when the court will hear the part of the appeal regarding whether Kansas has met its constitutional duty to provide adequate funding for public education.

The court issued a four-page schedule Friday that sets separate timelines for briefings and arguments on the equity and adequacy of school funding in Kansas.

Sam Zeff/KCUR

The Kansas State Board of Education today heard about the increasing number of teacher leaving the state to teach elsewhere.

In the past five years the number of teachers moving out of state to teach has ballooned from 400 to over 650, a 63 percent increase.

The report also said that the number of teachers simply leaving the profession almost doubled since 2011.

Marie Carter, personnel manager for the Topeka School District, says the political climate in Kansas is to blame.

Paradox 56, flickr Creative Commons

Updated Story:

A Kansas House committee has approved a plan from top Republican lawmakers to overhaul how the state distributes aid to public schools.

The House Appropriations Committee's voice vote Tuesday sends the plan to the full House for a debate that could occur later this week.

The committee voted despite bipartisan criticism that it is moving too quickly. GOP leaders unveiled the plan only last week.