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Archive for Friday, January 9, 2004

School funding adequate, publication says

January 9, 2004

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— Kansas schools are better off when it comes to funding than those in most other states, according to a report published Wednesday in the trade newspaper Education Week.

The report gave Kansas a B-minus for the adequacy and equity of its school funding.

That assessment is contrary to last month's court ruling in which Shawnee County District Judge Terry Bullock declared the state's school finance system unconstitutional because of inadequate funding and the unfair way the money is distributed.

State lawmakers said that the report hadn't changed their minds about whether school funding was adequate and that it would simply add to the coming debate over the court ruling.

The lawyer for the school districts that brought the suit, however, called the report irrelevant.

"The judge's opinion is apples, and the study you mention is oranges," said Alan Rupe, lead lawyer for the districts that sued the state.

Education Week and Bullock considered different factors in assessing school funding adequacy and equity. Bullock weighed state spending only against the requirements of the state Constitution, while the magazine compared spending from all local, state and federal sources.

In Kansas, total spending on each student, from all sources, was $7,743, compared to the national average of $7,376.

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