- School districts in Kansas can now plan on a budget for the year ahead after the Kansas Supreme Court avoided the possibility of a school shutdown by approving the state's education budget for another year, the Wichita Eagle reports.
- However, the Supreme Court made it clear that adding $522 million to the school funding budget over the next five years is not enough to meet the dual test of “adequacy” and “equity” and meet the requirement the state provide students with a “suitable” education. The issue will be reexamined next year.
- The proposed state funding falls short of the $1.7 billion to $2 billion increase recommended by a Texas A&M expert hired by the legislature to analyze school funding; however, some lawmakers feel the schools shouldn’t get more money until they prove they are using current funds effectively and efficiently.
Kansas is not the only state to face ongoing legal challenges regarding school funding. In fact, Washington, California, Connecticut and Pennsylvania have all faced recent challenges. SchoolFunding.info regularly maps updates school finance cases across the nation, drawing attention to the scope of the issue.
While most school leaders feel education funding in their state is inadequate, state legislators have to balance the requests of school districts with the demands of taxpayers to see their money used as efficiently as possible. Money matters in education, but only if that money is well-spent and reaches the students who need it most. While the debate over school funding will likely never go away, school administrators can do their part by using the money they have as wisely as possible and documenting the spending well. These measures can help make the case for increased funding in the future.