KASB urges support of school finance agreementScott Rothschild
The Kansas Association of School Boards commends House and Senate leaders on the agreement on school finance and educational policy in SB 16. We urge the House and Senate to accept this conference committee report.
KASB believes the plan should bring Kansas school funding back to the inflation-adjusted level of 2009.
When school funding was increased after the Montoy case beginning in 2006, measures of student outcomes – graduation rates, state and national test scores, college readiness, postsecondary attendance and completion – all increased.
However, during the past decade, Kansas K-12 funding fell behind the cost of living, per pupil funding and teacher salaries in other states, and positions and programs were cut. At the same time, the number of students, particularly those with challenges that make learning more difficult increased, and educational expectation were raised. Not surprisingly, Kansas’s ranking on many educational measures slipped.
With additional funding over the past two years, Kansas school districts have begun to recover. They have raised salaries to attract and keep qualified, committed staff, restored positions and added programs to meet student needs. The conference committee agreement will allow schools to continue that progress.
Kansas school leaders are committed to using the new resources to increase student success by supporting educators, focusing on lower-achieving students, keeping all students safe and healthy, and preparing students for postsecondary education with the skills that meet Kansas employment needs and provide greater economic security for individuals and their families.
KASB appreciates the hard work of the State Board of Education, Gov. Laura Kelly, the leaders and members of legislative committees, and all legislators who have worked to develop a bill that supports better educational outcomes. We urge its passage.