June 2017

June, 2017

The beginning of summer break for our students (and teachers) is here as children (and teachers) whoop for joy as they anticipate weeks of fun, fun, fun until the next school year begins. Right!? Let’s just hope there will be school to return to!  I doubt if it will come to that but, as many of you have been hearing and reading….again….. there is another  “face-off” between our Kansas legislators and the Kansas Supreme Court over what is constitutional when it comes to school funding.

At least things look to be heading in a positive direction in Topeka!  A finance bill to support K-12 education has been approved by the legislators and has been sent to Gov. Brownback who now has 10-days to sign it, veto it, or let it become law. It then goes to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court will need to approve the finance formula and say that it meets the “adequacy” piece of the lawsuit which will probably be mid to late July.  The Supreme Court could send it back for revisions and keep us on the block grant for another year or they could say use your reserve funds to function until the legislators fix the funding formula.  There is always the possibility of a school district “shut down”……you heard this last year and you may have heard it again recently. At this time, we are not thinking this will happen, but it is too early to tell at this point. Not surprisingly, speculation abounds as to how the Court might rule. 

A tax plan for the State was proposed and approved by both the Senate and House. Governor Brownback vetoed the tax plan.  The tax plan then went back to the House and Senate for an attempt at a veto override. They succeeded in both the House and the Senate.  This new tax plan will affect our local constituents, and we need to be appreciative of the work our local legislators have done to support us and all Kansas Students in becoming a state that puts a priority on education.   At this point, we do not know how this all is going to end and specifically, when and how the Supreme Court is going to respond to the new legislative finance formula.

At this point it’s another waiting game for all the school districts in Kansas.  Another waiting game on how to plan for the 2017-18 school financial budget which is supposed to be complete by the first of each July.  Here we go again……..

 Brian Cordel, USD223 Superintendent