To the editor:
On Monday, I testified at a hearing of the Kansas House Appropriations Committee. I am a mother, not a lobbyist. I had never done this before, but lawmakers are considering a cut to my daughter’s public school – even though her virtual school already spends about $7,000 per student less than other schools. According to the Kansas Department of Education, base state aid for traditional public schools currently is $3,838 per student, but, including funding from all sources, traditional schools in Kansas actually spend an average of $12,781 per student, compared to less than $5,000 per student in the state’s virtual school.
Virtual school students should not be victim to any reduction in funding when their aid is already so much lower than traditional public school students.
My daughter, Sophie, is a junior at the Insight School of Kansas, one of the public virtual schools that may be forced to close by this action.
At the state capitol, I joined many other parents who choose public virtual school for reasons such as bullying, health problems or academic struggles.
In our case, the traditional school moved at a pace too slow, and Sophie regretted the wasted time each day. Once enrolled in a public virtual school, she increased her class load so she could graduate a year early (saving the taxpayers’ money). Next year she will attend Brigham Young University.
I will continue to advocate for Sophie’s school until Kansas lawmakers stop threatening to close it down.