School Funding Framework
The 2015 Kansas Legislature changed the school finance funding system from a formula-based system to a Block Grant for the 15/16 and 16/17 school years. The Block Grant is set to expire June 30, 2017.
School administrators and Board members began to meet in the summer of 2015 to build a new school finance system. Participants represented a cross-section of school size, geographical representation, differing student demographics along with urban and rural districts.
School leaders are lending their expertise, knowledge, and experience to assist the legislature in writing a new permanent school finance formula which will provide the foundation to support student success as outlined in the Kansas State Board of Education’s new vision and mission.
The organizations participating include United School Administrators, Kansas School Superintendents Association, Kansas Association of School Business Officials, Kansas Association of Special Education Administrators, Kansas School Public Relations Association and Kansas Association of School Boards.
Throughout the year, a series of meetings continued the refinement of the school finance framework. Participants reviewed the prior formula and Block Grant characteristics, strengths and areas for improvement. Consideration for issues raised by Legislators has been included in the evaluation.
The focus is to develop a funding framework which meets the educational needs of Kansas students.
The school finance discussion is rooted in the guiding principles developed by the participants and by the Kansas State Board of Education’s new vision statement - Kansas Can and mission statement. Guiding Principles were written at the first meeting and have been revisited at each statewide meeting to check for agreement.
Every public school student in Kansas will have an equal opportunity to be college and career ready, as defined by the Kansas State Board of Education's Kansas Can mission and vision as aligned with the Rose Standards;
Some students will require greater supports to meet standards;
Funding to districts must be directly related to what it costs to educate each individual student;
Any formula must meet constitutional requirements for equity and adequacy;
The formula should recognize local control and provide funding of educational services; and,
The Legislature and school districts need budgeting predictability.
July – December 2015
July Call to Action meeting
August KASB school finance summit
Legislative Session 2016
Updates to legislative committees
Additional stakeholder meetings
Spring - Summer 2016
April USA – KASB school finance session
Work group meetings to incorporate discussions into the framework
Continuation of feedback and revisions. The working groups continue to develop and refine a framework which supports the Guiding Principles and Kansas State Board of Education’s vision, mission and outcomes for student success.
Fall - 2016
Continuation of feedback and revisions.
Primary and General Elections will determine the 2017 Legislature’s membership.