With talk among state officials about the possibility of schools not reopening in August, Lawrence parents are keeping a close eye on the school funding battle being waged in Topeka.
"I think there are a lot of parents around who I've talked to, who are deeply concerned with the funding issue right now," parent Richard Wenzel said Tuesday.
Other parents randomly interviewed were watching events unfold in the Capitol with emotions ranging from horror to nonchalance.
"I just feel like it is being mismanaged," Sheri Moore, a mother of four, said. "I'm frustrated with it and I think a lot of other people are, too."
But others said they remained convinced a solution would be found to the school finance standoff between the Legislature and Kansas Supreme Court that will allow schools to reopen for fall.
"I think it would be very farfetched that (the Supreme Court) would close the schools," Jennifer Martelo said. "I think (legislators) will come up with a solution. Whether we like it or not remains to be seen. But I think they will come up with a solution. It's their job."
In an order released Saturday afternoon, the court threatened to suspend operation of the state's schools unless the Legislature comes up with a way to increase funding by $143 million. A hearing has been set for 9 a.m. Friday, during which lawmakers will have to convince the court to keep schools open.
The special legislative session reconvenes today after a three-day break.
Moore, who recently decided to home-school her 6-year-old son, said she'd been watching events in Topeka unfold with a sigh of relief.
She got out of the public schools just in time.
"We were already leaning that way but it just solidified that we were making a good choice," she said about the decision to remove her son from public schools. "We can make decisions as a family faster than politicians can."
More about school finance
- Webcast of live arguments before the Kansas Supreme Court (requires Windows Media Player)
- Brief of the Montoy suit (.pdf)
- Timeline of events in school finance lawsuit
- 6News video: School finance bill to face court
- Plaintiffs: School finance bill fails grade (06-13-06)
- State wants high court to dismiss school suit (06-02-06)
- Legislature approves school finance plan (05-10-06)
- Chat with Bob Corkins, Kansas Education Commissioner (02-02-06)
- House roll call on $148.4 million school finance plan (07-07-05)
- Supt. Weseman's contingency plan (07-06-05)
- More about school finance »
- Conference Committee on Senate Bill 549
- House bill info
- Senate bill info
- Kansas public schools cost study
- Kansas public schools cost study executive summary
- Public Education Finances 2004 (.pdf)
- Senate roll call on $148.4 million school finance plan
- Supreme Court's Show Cause Order (07-02-05)
- Supreme Court's Order Denying Extension (.pdf)
- Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 1603 (.pdf)
- Supplemental Note on Resolution No. 1603 (.pdf)