Kansas School Funding is a mess. In fact, in February the Kansas Supreme Court gave the state a deadline of June 30 to fix the problems or there would be a court-ordered shut down. What does that mean? If you live in the state of Kansas and they don't solve the funding issues, your children will not be heading back to school in the fall.
Having the schools closed doesn't scare me? Why? I've been here at home basically teaching my child all year because she's been chronically ill. While we have homebound services, we've discovered that she actually learns better self-directed and from me so I've been helping her. It's a good thing I actually paid attention in school and that we have Google. We're also registered with the state of Kansas as a homeschool. So, if school's didn't open in the fall I'd probably put a curriculum together and we'd just move on with the school year. Here's the thing. I work from home and have structured my life to be able to do this. Could you?If the answer is no, then you need to educate yourself on what's happening in our state and take some action.
Here's the Spark Notes version of what's going on with Kansas School Funding.
Back in 2014, there was a lawsuit stating that some schools were underfunded and the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that all the districts needed to be treated fairly. A new law was passed but aid was cut on poorer districts with the implementation of block grants. Now, the Supreme Court has ordered the state to fix the issues.
So, what's happened. According to my most recent Google search, not much. It's been three weeks and there's no news out of Topeka except that Governor Sam Brownback has hinted in a press conference that he's working to figure out a plan. And, the Kansas Tax Committee is considering adding a donation option to income taxes (like that will solve the problem). I think it's important to point out that Brownback just cut $17 million dollars allocated for the state university system to try and fix his budget problems. That doesn't sound like a pro-education guy to me.
So what's likely to happen? Not much if we don't get vocal. There are three months to get something done and if anyone is familiar with how government works, it's a process and process is slooow. The state's legislature didn't even discuss school funding in it's last set of budget revisions. I suggest that everyone contact their representative and put a bug in their ear that we need this problem solved. Don't know who they are? You can find all the info you need here.
If we don't fix the Kansas School Funding problem, it's going to be more than just a little inconvenience. It will have a huge impact on our economy. Working parents with young children will be forced to pay for child care or miss work entirely to take care of their kids. Without a school system, our home values will plummet. It's a bigger issue than missing a school year people. Contact your state representative today!