Published: January 6, 2005
Kansas, like most states, uses a foundation formula to distribute money to schools. The formula is driven by a base amount of aid per pupil, which is set annually by the governor and legislature. For the 2005 fiscal year, the amount is $3,863, and the cost is shared by the state and local districts. Districts are required to levy a 20-mill property tax. If the 20-mill tax yield is more than the district’s share of state aid, the district does not receive formula funds. The formula is based on a weighted enrollment, which provides additional money for English-language learners, vocational education students, at-risk students, small districts, transportation, and school facilities. Kansas has just five categorical programs: food service, juvenile-detention facilities, Parents as Teachers, bond and interest state aid, and special education. The total spent on those programs in fiscal 2004 was $316.4 million. Kansas does not have any taxes or fees dedicated to education. The state is appealing the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling in Montoy v. State that its school finance system is unconstitutional. In the meantime, the state has formed an interim legislative committee to study the finance system.
Vol. 24, Issue 17, Page 65