School funding battle only getting started

Posted:
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

The special session in the Kansas Legislature has sent millions of dollars back to Kansas public schools for equity.

The bill came after two days of political tactics and debate.

"Citizens, parents, and school district employees breath a sigh of relief last night when the legislature came to an agreement," said Diane Gjerstad, who works for Wichita Public Schools in Government relations. 

"That is what equity is all about, that different communities have reasonably similar tax effort for reasonably similar education's opportunities," she added. 

Gjerstad says that Wichita schools will get $5,300,000 which will save money for Wichita residents who pay property tax. USD 259 will also get $4,300,000 in Capital Outline Aid for building maintenance and software. She says that since 2009, Wichita residents have paid $72,000,000 in extra property tax to fund schools. 

The Kansas Supreme Court still has to approve the measure and call it 'equitable.'

There are four schools suing the State of Kansas for more funding; Wichita Public Schools, Hutchinson Public Schools, Dodge City Public Schools and Kansas City Public Schools. 

The legal team representing the schools tells KAKE News that they feel the equitable portion of the funding has been met, but the adequacy portion has not. 

Lawyer Alan Rupe says that Kansas public schools still need $550,000,000 to $600,000,000 for adequate funding. 

Rupe says that the equity portion of the lawsuit makes it so poorer school districts are equally funded to richer districts. The adequacy portion affects all Kansas students. 

The Supreme Court is speculated to take oral arguments in the Fall of 2016 on adequacy. 
 

  • Most Popular Stories

    • Wichita Police search for suspects in deadly shooting

      A man was found shot to death in a South Wichita home Tuesday, now police want to speak with the man's roommates. 

    • New brewery set to open in downtown Wichita

      After years of dreaming about it, Dan Norton and his wife are opening their own brewery. "There's nothing better than good beer and good music to bring people together. 

    • Parents of 2 kids killed by nanny seek new law

      A man whose two small children were stabbed to death by their nanny at their New York home says he'd like to thank the judge and jurors at her murder trial, where she was found guilty. 

    • One person dead after shooting in south Wichita

      Dispatcher's confirm one person is dead after a shooting in south Wichita. 

    • High wind slows Wichita construction projects

      While the wind is a pain for most people, its something else for construction companies.

    • Controlled burn turns into out-of-control fire in Reno County

      It took all nine fire districts in Reno County to fight a large brush fire this week.

    • Police: Wichita man arrested for shooting girlfriend in the face

      Wichita police say a 28-year-old woman remains in critical condition after her boyfriend allegedly shot her in the face.

    • Wichita man charged with child rape, abuse

      Eric McFadden on Tuesday was arraigned on two counts of rape, three counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, one count of aggravated criminal sodomy and five counts of child abuse.

    • Guilty verdicts reached in Kansas bomb plot case

      The Latest on the trial of three men accused of plotting to bomb a mosque and apartment complex housing Somali immigrants.

    • The page you requested is currently unavailable. Pages on this site are constantly being revised, updated, and occasionally removed. You may have followed an outdated link or have outdated pages in your