The Spring Hill School District is one of four area schools that will receive additional funding from the state.
The Kansas Financial Council met last week and heard extraordinary needs requests from 40 school districts, before deciding to grant additional funding requests totaling $6 million to 22 districts.
The Gardner Edgerton School District did not request additional funding. Spring Hill will receive approximately $428,799, of about 69 percent of the $617,985 it requested. The exact additional funding amount will be determined after Sept. 21, when school districts report official enrollment numbers.
USD 230 officials requested extraordinary needs funding based on student population growth of more than 6 percent. The $617,985 requested by the district was based on a formula provided by the state and an increase of 155 new students. The district has grown by
an average of 4 percent or more for the last five years.
Wayne Burke, Spring Hill superintendent, said the district is appreciative of the extra funding.
“The ongoing growth in the district illustrates that people are excited to call our school district home,” Burke said.
The state finance council agreed to give additional funding to the schools requesting funds that will have more than 2 percent growth. In total, 13 districts received approximately $2 million in extra funding. Districts requested more than $8 million in additional funding for growth. The Olathe School District requested extraordinary need funding. With growth less than 2 percent, however, the Olathe district’s request was not granted.
The Kansas Legislature repealed the school finance formula and replaced it temporarily with block grant funding in 2015. The old formula provided funding on a per weighted pupil basis. Students were weighted based on a variety of factors including distance traveled to school and free and reduced lunch usage. The block grant funding essentially froze school funding for the next two years. According to a press release from the Spring Hill School District, USD 230 would have received an additional $1 million in funding this year under the old finance formula.
The block grant law also required each school district to contribute 0.4 percent of their budget to set up the Extraordinary Needs Fund. In reviewing a district’s application for payment from the fund, the State Finance Council considered any extraordinary increase in enrollment, or decrease in the district’s assessed valuation or any other unforeseen circumstances impacting a district’s finances.
“With the continued pressure to meet the needs of a fast-growing student population, it is important that the levels of funding continue to increase so students can successfully prepare for college and careers, and Kansas continues to be a great place to call home,” Burke said.