Background Information

Recently, Governor Sam Brownback urged patrons of school districts around the state to speak up about how education is funded. In doing so, he has requested that individuals and boards of education submit recommendations by November 30, 2016.

This request is being made in the light of a recent Supreme Court decision regarding the equity of education in our state as well as a looming decision regarding the adequacy of school funding. In 2015, the Kansas Legislature, concerned over the perceived complexity and complicated nature of the funding formula, repealed the 1992 school finance formula and replaced it with a block grant system. That funding mechanism is set to expire June 30, 2017, so the upcoming legislative session will prioritize the development of a new formula.

Important facts to consider:

- The Kansas Constitution requires the Legislature to “provide for intellectual, educational, vocational and scientific improvement by establishing and maintaining public schools … .” The Constitution further states that the Legislature is to “make suitable provision for finance of the educational interests of the state."
- The Kansas State Board of Education has announced a new vision for Kansas education based on input from educators, parents, business owners, and community members all across the state: “Kansas leads the world in the success of each student."
- The Kansas Supreme Court has held that the school funding formula or mechanism must address both adequacy and equity in order to be constitutional.
- Whatever decisions that are made in the next legislative session, the impacts on public education in Kansas will be long-lasting for students, parents, and businesses in our state.

Given that the Governor has asked for input, and that you as a parent, student, or patron have a vested interest in the quality of the education provided to children in USD 373, what are your priorities? What successful practices are important to maintain? What should be considered as part of the funding formula moving forward?

The results of this survey will be shared with the USD 373 Board of Education, Governor Sam Brownback, Kansas Association of School Boards, and United School Administrators of Kansas. Thank you for taking time to complete this survey!

* 1. Given the Kansas State Board of Education's vision of "Kansas leads the world in the success of each student," what programs, services, or aspects of education might be needed to achieve that vision?

* 2. What might you want legislators to consider as important as they develop a school finance formula?

* 3. If you were to prioritize three of your items for the Legislature to consider, what would your three priorities be?

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