On April 6 more than 100 people watched Governor Laura Kelly sign a K-12 school finance bill that will increase school funding approximately $90 million in each of the next four years. Some Republicans joined Democrats to vote for the bill and Governor Kelly called the support an example of legislative compromise and her signing as a victory for schools.
The legislation responds to a previous Kansas Supreme Court order requiring the legislature to include costs for inflation in the 2018 five-year $525 million increase in state education appropriation. Before implementation, the court must review and rule on the adequacy of the negotiated plan.
If the amount of funding appears to be a generous handout, lets not forget what got the state to this point. The aftermath of the 2008 economic crash led to reduction in states education spending across the nation. That reduction, coupled with the effect of cuts in Kansas income tax, resulted in 10 years of decline in public education funding, placing adequate resources for Kansas students in jeopardy.