Districts, Advocates See Shortcomings In Kansas School Funding Plan | KCUR

Districts, Advocates See Shortcomings In Kansas School Funding Plan

Apr 8, 2014

Attorneys for the group that sued Kansas over school funding have issued a statement critical of the plan the Legislature sent to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback Sunday.

Attorney John Robb expressed concerns that the plan shifts money from some programs for at-risk students, allows more well-to-do districts to increase local funding, and reduces revenues that could go for schools by offering tax credits for private school scholarships.

But both he and Joyce Eisenmenger Morrison of the advocacy group Schools for Fair Funding emphasize the organization is still studying the bill and is not taking a stand yet on whether or not the plan meets the requirements set by the state Supreme Court.

Schools for Fair Funding's stand on that, she says, should come in about a week.

Across the state, school districts, their supporters and their critics are studying the effects of the funding plan the Legislature passed Sunday.

Shawnee Mission Schools Superintendent Jim Hinson says first estimates suggest that if voters approve the added local funding it allows, his district will come out about $3.3 million to the good.

“When you look at an operating budget of about 220 million, 3.3 million is not a lot of money – I mean it is not going to make a dramatic difference in the school district – but it will allow us to do a few of the things we would like to do,” Hinson added

He says it will be a week or two before the district has decided exactly what “things” the money would go for. On his list of possibilities are reducing some class sizes and lowering some of the fees parents now pay.