KC Star Special: Kansas lawmakers must fix public school funding plan
BY JOE REARDON AND SCOTT SMITH | Special to The Star
It’s as true today as it was in the fifth century B.C., when Greek philosopher Diogenes said, “The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.”
For our school districts on the Kansas side of the area, a solid rebuilding of that foundation is an urgent need. In the knowledge-based, global marketplace of the 21st century, a well-educated population with technical skills and problem-solving abilities is the key to Greater Kansas City’s innovation, growth and ability to compete.
The Kansas City Chamber and the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City believe quality public education is, without question, our region’s most vital resource to attract and retain economic development that fuels growth and much-needed job creation. While Kansans breathed a collective sigh of relief in the summer when they learned the state’s schools would keep their doors open after July 1, there are still multiple questions.
The Kansas Supreme Court is expected to rule — as early as this fall — on the adequacy of the state’s funding for education. Also, several legislators and state officials in Topeka are working on a new school funding formula, a commitment made when, last year, the Legislature dropped the old school formula and replaced it with a block grant system that is in effect into next year.