School advocates urged to tell governor about school finance and also send recommendations to KASB
KASB wants to make sure that people who know how to educate children — teachers, parents, school board members, administrators and others — voice their opinions on what the next school finance formula should include.
That is why KASB is urging Kansans to accept Gov. Sam Brownback’s invitation to submit their school finance recommendations to StudentsFirst@ks.gov and also send those recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org. KASB will share the information with other education organizations and use it to help in the coming debate on school finance.
KASB believes any new finance formula should include the following components:
Accountability. A new school finance formula must support the Kansas State Board of Education’s new vision that an excellent school system must focus on helping each student succeed and setting outcomes to measure that goal.
A new formula should assist and encourage districts in meeting the outcomes of the State Board. These are kindergarten readiness, higher graduation rates, more postsecondary participation, individual plans of study and social and emotional indicators.
Adequacy. A new school finance formula should embrace the guiding principles drafted by the United School Administrators of Kansas that says every student must have equal opportunity to be college and career ready as defined by the State Board’s vision; and recognize the additional needs of students who require special services.
Equity. A new school finance formula must provide adequate and equitable funding as required by the Kansas Constitution. Such a formula would avoid undue and burdensome differences in local taxes;
Efficiency. A new school finance formula must give local districts the responsibility to respond to unique community needs while encouraging efficiencies through cooperation among districts. Under our system of strong local control, Kansas already spends a higher percentage of dollars on instruction than most states, because we have more teachers and support staff per pupil than most states.
Excellence. A new school finance formula must allow flexibility for districts to go beyond state requirements, foster innovation and promote improvement. Many communities want more freedom and flexibility to enhance their public schools; and the Kansas Constitution requires “intellectual, educational, vocational and scientific improvement.” This means continually pushing for better results.