school funding

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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.

Julia Szabo / KCUR

In the next couple of years, Kansas education will face some of its most unstable times ever.

The Legislature has cut classroom funding. There’s no school finance formula and the the whole system may be thrown into chaos depending on what the state Supreme Court does.

All of this is all taking a toll on recruiting and retaining teachers, and there's mounting evidence that Kansas teachers are becoming disenchanted. And out-of-state districts are taking advantage.

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.

Larry Darling, flickr Creative Commons

A proposal for changing how Kansas public schools are funded appears to cut money from most of the state's poorest school districts while protecting the wealthiest.

The Topeka Capital-Journal examined the effect of a Republican plan to replace the state's existing per-student formula for distributing its money to 286 school districts, which is currently designed to ensure that poor districts don't fall behind wealthy ones.

Rupert Ganzer, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas legislators are waiting for a detailed analysis of how a plan from Republican leaders to overhaul education funding would affect individual school districts.

The Kansas Department of Education was expected to release the analysis Friday. The department regularly reviews school finance legislation and analyzes its effects.

The GOP plan was outlined Thursday and would replace the state's existing per-student formula for distributing its aid to 286 school districts.

Stephen Koranda

A proposal in the Kansas Senate would cut back aid to school districts in the current fiscal year. Lawmakers passed legislation increasing one type of school funding last year in response to a court ruling. But as Stephen Koranda reports, when all the variables were finalized, the cost was more than expected.

Some Kansas lawmakers are unhappy because they thought they’d be adding about $130 million dollars, but the cost ballooned. Here’s Republican state Senator Ty Masterson speaking last month.

A report by a Kansas school board association finds the increase in children receiving free or reduced-price meals is tied to poverty rates and isn't a ploy to boost school funding.

Over the past 15 years, the number of students eligible for the meals had grown from 33 percent to 50 percent.

State lawmakers have raised questions about why there's an increase in students eligible for the meals and whether the growth in applications is linked to schools misusing the formula to get more funding.

You know that soccer mom who jogs by your house every morning? The other day she went right up to your son’s third grade teacher and stripped her naked of the due process rights she’s had for the last 57 years here in Kansas.

And that guy who was smiling and joking with me in the checkout line at the grocery last Saturday? He lit a firebomb, taped a tax credit for private school supporters on it, and flung it through the window of a first grade classroom in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Update: The Kansas Supreme Court said Friday the state's current public school funding levels are unconstitutional.

In the much-anticipated ruling, the court said Kansas' poor school districts were harmed when the state made the decision to cut certain payments when tax revenues declined during the Great Recession.

The Kansas Supreme Court will hand down a decision Friday in a lawsuit over school funding.

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