Kansas school finance

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

On this week's Statehouse Blend, reporters work with a law professor to make sense of The Gannon v. Kansas school finance lawsuit, and speculate on the outcomes and consequences of that case.

This is an excerpt from Statehouse Blend. You can listen to the full episode here, or by subscribing on iTunes.


Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

No matter how deep in the weeds you go on the current school funding case before the Kansas Supreme Court; whether you're talking assessed valuation per pupil (AVPP) or local option budget (LOB) the case seems to come back to block grant funding passed last session by the Legislature.

Brad Wilson / Flickr-CC

Lawmakers on the State Finance Council meet Monday in Topeka to determine how much money nearly 40 public school districts in Kansas will get from the state's extraordinary needs fund.

Here are some questions you may have, answered by KCUR's education reporter Sam Zeff. 

1. Kansas has an 'extraordinary needs' fund? What is that?

Kansas spends more money on education that any other item in the state budget, and education funding will likely be the dominant issue when lawmakers convene the legislative session in January.

A state court has already ordered lawmakers to spend more on education. And soon, the Kansas Supreme Court will issue its own ruling on a lawsuit that claims the state has been shortchanging public schools. All of this led lawmakers to spend two days last week studying up on school funding.

The formula

Testimony in the Kansas school finance trial will draw to a close today as lawyers in the case call their final witnesses.

Kansas Senate Leader Testifies In School Finance Case

Jun 26, 2012

The trial in the ongoing school finance lawsuit is continuing this week, with a leading member of the Kansas Senate testifying on behalf of the plaintiffs.

Some Kansas School Districts On The Brink

Jun 20, 2012

A top official at the Kansas State Department of Education says recent budget cuts have pushed some school districts to the brink of insolvency.

Steve Walker

The Kansas school finance trial enters its third week. A plan to replace Medicaid in Kansas drew criticism at its first public hearing.  It’s a double dose of Shakespeare in Kansas City.  That & more news from KCUR.

Kansas School Finance Trial Continues

Jun 19, 2012
Peter Hancock / Kansas Education Policy Report

The trial resumes today in the school finance lawsuit where 54 school districts are claiming the state of Kansas is under-funding public education.

Witness Says Kansas Schools Underfunded

Jun 12, 2012
Dr. Bruce Baker
Peter Hancock

An expert witness in the ongoing school finance trial says Kansas is under-funding public schools by thousands of dollars per pupil each year. 

Pencils, Papers, Shoes: What Factors Into The Kansas School Finance Formula?

Jun 7, 2012

Judges in the Kansas school finance lawsuit are being asked to decide how much responsibility the state has in making sure all children have the same chance at a quality education.

Educators Pore Over New School Funding Formula

Dec 14, 2011

Kansas school districts are digesting a sweeping school finance plan proposed today by Governor Sam Brownback.

He promises no district will lose state funds via the proposal, which is designed to give local boards a freer hand in spending. It would also allow districts to raise property taxes.

The property tax cap, set by state law, would be removed under the Brownback plan, which would go into effect in July 2013. President of the Shawnee Mission School Board Craig Denny was struck by that and another provision.