February 4, 2023

Legislator Admits There Will Be Losers in School Funding Battle

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Not only did a moderate Republican admit some schools may lose money in the ongoing discussion about Kansas school funding, but a mainstream media outlet reported it. In WIBW television story headlined, “School Finance Formula Will Not Have All Winners,” Rep. Brenda Dietrich says some districts will not gain dollars.

Schools that lost enrollment in the past few years are not likely to see overall funding increases.

Brenda Dietrich
Rep. Brenda Dietrich

“Over the last three years, that block grant didn’t give you more money if you were gaining students, but it also didn’t decrease your funding if you were losing students,” she said.

A House committee is debating a new funding formula that would increase base state aid per pupil by several hundred dollars. If adopted, the base state aid increase will not make up the difference for schools that lost students. Dietrich explained the political reality during a Topeka-area legislative forum last weekend.

“Their loss is so great, we cannot make that up with this formula right now.”

The WIBW story calls the information, “sobering.”

She said legislators may work to bridge that funding gap for schools that lost students when they return to Topeka on May 1.

Dietrich is a former Auburn-Washburn USD 437 school superintendent. She defeated Mark Leneerts, a Topeka Pastor, in the August 2016 primary, but ran unopposed in November.

 

 

 

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