Dozens of Kansas school districts will be asking lawmakers for extra state funding next week because they have more students or falling property values. Monday is the deadline to apply, and the total number of schools asking for funding could be around 40.
Kansas moved to a block grant system this school year, and it doesn’t automatically add additional funding when student enrollment grows. David Smith is a spokesperson for Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, which has grown by 500 students since last year.
“It’s going to take additional desks, materials and supplies, additional teachers, probably at least some additional transportation resources. It’s a lot. It’s a lot of kids,” says Smith. “We are going to hire the additional teachers to keep our student-teacher ratio the same, we’re going to provide transportation, we’re going to provide lunch. We are going to do everything that we do for every child,” says Smith.
The KCK school district will be asking for more than $2 million to cover those costs. A panel of lawmakers will consider the requests next week, but the extra state funding is capped at around $12 million total. That will mean some schools will likely get less than they’re requesting.