Kansas-School Funding

In this Monday, March 25, 2019 photo, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly speaks during a news conference at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kansas.

TOPEKA, KS (KCTV) -- This summer, unlike in years past, school districts in Kansas won’t have to worry about starting late this fall because of a lack of funding.

On Friday, the Kansas Supreme Court put its seal of approval on a funding formula 10 years in the making.

You’ll hear politicians in Kansas say the state doesn’t have mountains or beaches, but it does have good schools. It took more than 10 years, but now the state has the money to fund those schools.

“Well, this is an exciting day,” said Governor Laura Kelly at a press conference.

That simple sentence shows how long lawmakers in Kansas have waited for the complicated school funding issue to be resolved. The fight over funding has gone on for more than a decade. Three Kansas governors have tried to get money into schools.

“Investing in our children’s education is the best investment we can make,” Kelly said.

In the last decade, failing to fund schools means parents like Patty Logan with Stand Up Blue Valley have had to provide classroom staples themselves.

“Blue Valley voters depend on our schools,” she said. “If you’re a parent in Blue Valley Schools, you want your kids to have Kleenex and construction paper.”

She said that also includes top quality teachers.

“Attracting and retaining quality teachers is of paramount importance, especially here near the state line where we have to compete with Missouri,” she said.

This year, Governor Kelly signed a bill that guarantees another $90 million flowing through school doors across the state. Passing monies like that took bipartisan effort.

Kelly lauded the work done by the legislature on Friday afternoon. “I want to thank the legislators who helped push this to success,” she said.

The Kansas Republicans took to Twitter, reiterating the governor’s support of bipartisanship.

Speaker of the House and Olathe Republican Ron Ryckman also took to social media. In a tweet, Ryckman said this plan won’t work without a balanced and stable budget.

The Kansas Supreme Court is keeping the case open, they said, as a way to watch the legislature.

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