Put Students First 


In 2015 the Kansas Legislature voted to repeal the 1992 school finance formula, citing the complexity and unpredictability of the formula. In its place, the Legislature instituted a block grant funding system. This system froze funding for two years while a new funding formula could be developed. This block grant system will expire in 2017 and Brownback has invited public input into the development of a new school funding mechanism.

KASB is urging school leaders to help organize events during the week of Oct. 31-Nov. 4 to promote understanding of education issues, encourage voting in the Nov. 8 General Election and develop interest in these issues after the election and moving into the 2017 legislative session.

We are also encouraging Kansans to speak up and submit information to Governor Brownback on the developing of a new school funding formula for Kansas Schools.

 KASB Statement: Good start on school funding; now finish the job (4/10/2017) 
   The regular session of the Kansas Legislature has made a good start on addressing funding for Kansas public schools. But there is a great deal of important work that must be completed when Legislators return for the wrap-up session on May 1 to help m
 Advisory – KASB members urged to stay apprised of school finance bills (2/20/2017) 
   Over the past week, the House K-12 Education Budget Committee has held public hearings on several proposed school finance formulas.
 KASB statement on legislative approval of tax bill (2/17/2017) 
   KASB applauds legislators in the House and Senate for approval of a comprehensive change to the state’s tax policy.
 2017 Legislature: New session, new crew (1/9/2017) 
   The 2017 Legislative Session starts today with a new crew hired by Kansas voters to try to fix the state’s difficult budget problems and write a new school finance plan.
 Deadline approaching on school finance recommendations (11/29/2016) 
   November 30 is the deadline to submit school finance recommendations to Gov. Sam Brownback.
 State budget problems worsen (11/11/2016) 
   The threat of cuts to public schools rose Thursday as officials announced the state faced a nearly $350 million state budget hole in the current year.
 Reading for Success reports to State Board of Education (11/10/2016) 
   The Kansas State Board of Education on Wednesday received an update on the Kansas Reading for Success program, which aims to help every child reach his or her full reading potential regardless of background and access to literacy.
 KASB President Martin promotes Put Students First Week, encourages recommendations on school finance (11/3/2016) 
   Martin, who is also a member of the Olathe USD 233 board, was interviewed this week by WIBW Radio News in Topeka.
 Put Students First Week: Education Commissioner Watson interview (11/1/2016) 
   Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson urged school advocates to engage their communities in discussions about school finance and to let Gov. Sam Brownback and legislators know what they think.
 Put Students First, elections anchor latest School Board Review (11/1/2016) 
   A look at the upcoming election and how-to guide on this week’s “Put Students First” effort anchor the latest edition of School Board Review.
View all

Engage Your Community in the Conversation

Hold a community meeting, site council meeting or district conversation to discuss school district activities and what specifically the state needs to do to “Put Students First!” The meetings could be used to develop responses to Gov. Sam Brownback’s request to send input on a new K-12 school funding formula to StudentsFirst@ks.gov

KASB, the Kansas State Department of Education and United School Administrators of Kansas have developed a toolkit to assist local education leaders in preparing a submission to the governor. The toolkit has a list of groups to consider inviting, such as chamber of commerce representatives, business leaders, etc. and is a "turn key" guide to making sure your community's voice is heard on this critical matter!

Resources for Local Discussions about School Funding

Funding the Future Powerpoint (pdf)
***To receive a PPT version of this powerpoint - or for additional ideas on how to engage your community in this discussion - please contact  Leah Fliter or Carol Pitts.


Funding the Future Discussion Toolkit (pdf)
Funding the Future Discussion Toolkit (doc)

KanSPRA "Quick Start" Process (pdf)

KSDE, KASB and USA|Kansas have developed resources to lead local discussions and develop recommendations to send suggestions to Gov. Sam Brownback about a new school funding plan for Kansas schools. Also included is a one-page “quick start” process developed by representatives of KanSPRA who attended the Aug. 31 school finance conference. The governor has requested that recommendations be submitted by Nov. 30 to StudentsFirst@ks.gov. Additionally, if you would like KSDE, KASB and USA|Kansas also to receive your recommendations, you may carbon copy schoolfundinginput@kasb.org.

Funding Considerations for Kansans Can

Need some help?

KASB stands ready to provide support for “Put Students First!” community meetings by providing school finance information, staff and other assistance.

Go local!

  • Focus local media, social media and district events and communication around the "Put Students First" initiative.
  • Shoot and post videos on your homepage, on Facebook and Twitter during the “Put Students First Week.” 
  • Remember to use #KSputstudentsfirst so KASB can repost/retweet! 
  • Write letters to the editor, website posts, blog posts and send emails to staff and community members (contact KASB for ideas and assistance!) 
  • Invite media and the community into your schools for tours and classroom visits. 
  • Approach city leaders and other community partners and sponsor a joint resolution.