March 31, 2015

Former KS BOE member: schools funded adequately

A former Kansas State Board of Education member is telling the courts that Kansas public schools aren’t strapped for cash.
Walt Chappell, Wichita, served on the state school board from 2009 to 2012 and recently wrote an amicus brief supporting the Kansas Legislature’s school funding formula.
The Gardner Edgerton School District is more than four dozen Kansas public schools suing the state for underfunding public education. A district court ruled in their favor in January, and now the matter is before the Supreme Court.
The January ruling requires the legislature to raise the base state aid per pupil from $3,383 to $4,492. The increase would cost the state more than $437 million.
The state appealed the ruling.
In his brief, Chappell suggests the justices should rule against the school districts and find savings elsewhere. He urges that judges instead order the legislature to consolidate the state’s 286 districts into about 40, and change funding for at-risk students in order to garner savings. His brief also requests a ban on Common Core standards.
— Danedri Thompson

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