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Archive for Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Statehouse Live: State Board of Education urges Legislature to fund schools as law says

July 13, 2010

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— The State Board of Education on Tuesday recommended that the Kansas Legislature “fund the law,” which would require a $471 million increase in school funding.

The school funding law is based on what the Legislature has put into state statutes before significant budget cuts were made because of a record state revenue shortfall during the national recession.

The board voted 7-1-1 for the proposed increase, which would be a nearly 14 percent increase from the current budget. The recommendation for the 2011-2012 school year will be forwarded to the governor and Legislature for consideration in the next legislative session, which starts in January.

Board member Walt Chappell, a Democrat from Wichita, was the lone dissenting vote, saying that the board needed more time to determine if there were ways it could recommend less spending. “I’m appalled that this is the way we are going to move,” Chappell said. He said the Legislature would quickly reject such a recommendation.

But other board members said that they needed to represent education interests to the Legislature.

“This is an advocacy budget, and we need to stand firm for our students and schools to fund what the law has required,” said board member Jana Shaver, a Republican from Independence.

Board member Kathy Martin, a Republican from Clay Center, abstained from voting, saying she thought there was merit to arguments on both sides of the issue. But she added, “I don’t think we can just say give us more, give us more when everyone else is getting cut.”

Comments

kugrad 4 years, 5 months ago

The State Constitution does not place balancing the budget as a priority that overrides the adequate funding of schools. THREE studies done for and by the legislature have repeatedly established that funding levels are grossly inadequate. It is time for the legislators to quit trying to get re-elected 24/7 and do their jobs instead.

kshiker 4 years, 5 months ago

This whole debate is a broken record. The State Board of Education is fully aware of the fact that the state cannot afford to provide a $471 million increase to public education in FY 2011. This would undoubtedly require a massive tax increase and huge cuts to other important areas of state government such as public safety, transportation and social services. Did the elected officials on the SBOE forget they are not employees of the teachers' unions and school advocacy groups?

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