Presentation on legislation, funding effects on public schools to be held at library

Educate Lawrence, a local public education advocacy group, is organizing a presentation on Tuesday about funding and legislation affecting public schools in Kansas.

Funding for Kansas public schools is the biggest category of spending in the state, and last year the Kansas Legislature repealed the funding formula that had been in place for more than 20 years and replaced it for two years with temporary “block grants.” On Thursday, the Kansas Supreme Court struck down the block grant school funding law as unconstitutional, citing that it does not equitably fund school districts. The court ordered legislators to come up with a new formula before next school year

The Educate Lawrence event will walk through funding and other legislation affecting public schools and include two speakers: Annie McKay with the Kansas Center for Economic Development; and Judith Grote Deedy with the advocacy group Game on for Kansas Schools. McKay will chronicle funding prior to and during the block grants, and Deedy will discuss legislation trends and their effects.

Educate Lawrence hosts discussions on public education legislation as part of its goal to push for “full and fair funding” for Lawrence children, according to the group’s website.

The discussion will be 7 p.m. Tuesday in the auditorium of the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St. It is free and open to the public.

In other news and notes:

• Monday is the first day of the Langston Hughes Elementary book fair, which will be open for business until Wednesday.

• The Quail Run Elementary book fair also starts Monday and will run until Thursday.

• Monday is the last day for Schwegler Elementary‘s book drive. Parents can send new or gently used books to school with their student for donation.

• Monday is the first day of the winter coat and jacket drive at Lawrence High School. Donations of gently used coats and jackets can be dropped off in the blue bin in the main office. Donations will be accepted over the next two weeks.