Governor Sam Brownback is asking for the public to suggest what should be included in a new formula for funding Kansas schools. Lawmakers tossed out the old funding plan last year and replaced it with a block grant system. The block grants expire next year and Brownback wants to have a replacement funding system in place.
“It’s time for us to work together to develop a school funding system that works for Kansas students, for their parents and for educators,” says Brownback.
Brownback will be taking suggestions until the end of November at the email address StudentsFirst@ks.gov.
Marcus Baltzell is with the state’s largest teachers union, the Kansas National Education Association. He says they’re encouraged by the spirit of collaboration, but he wonders why it took so long to reach this step?
“We’ve been calling for teachers and educators to be included for a long time now. For more than 2,000 days into this administration, that hasn’t happened,” says Baltzell.
Brownback says he expects to develop a school funding proposal for the Kansas Legislature to consider next year.
On the same day Brownback made his announcement, a group of Kansas school administrators unveiled its outline for a new funding system. The Associated Press says the proposal would strip local school districts of their taxing authority and set a single statewide property tax for schools.
Brownback isn't offering an opinion of that specific plan, but says he is glad to see proposals being developed.