July 21, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Poll: Kansans Overwhelmingly Want the Court Out of Their Schools

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Last week, the Kansas Supreme Court decided the additional $818 million Kansas lawmakers approved to fund public schools over the next six years was inadequate, but a recent poll holds a surprise for the Court.

By substantial majorities in all five senate districts surveyed, even in those districts where majorities approved school spending increases, respondents rejected the idea of court involvement.

Dave Trabert, president, Kansas Policy Institute.

“This court decision, coupled with a new poll gauging the will of Kansas voters, confirms that the only hope for students to get the education they deserve depends upon a constitutional amendment that prohibits the court from setting funding levels,” said Dave Trabert President of Kansas Policy Institute.

The poll, conducted on behalf of the Kansas Policy Institute (KPI) by Cor Strategies, surveyed nearly 2500 voters across five disparate senate districts. In four of the districts, a majority of respondents supported a recent $600 million spending increase. In two of the districts, a majority expressed a willingness to pay more taxes to support schools, but in none of the districts did a majority want the courts to make funding decisions.

In District 7, the state’s most affluent, respondents strongly favored additional school funding and expressed a willingness to pay for it. For the residents of Leawood and Mission Hills, a few extra tax dollars is not a big concern. But even in District 7, 60 percent of the voters who expressed an opinion wanted elected state reps to make funding decisions for the schools, and that was the lowest percentage of the five districts.

In District 17, the district that includes Emporia and places north, 71 percent of respondents with an opinion wanted the courts out of the schools. The other three districts ranged between 60 and 71 percent.

Said KPI vice president and policy director James Franko, “The districts polled span from more liberal and suburban districts in Johnson County to more rural districts and voters clearly agree – judges should not be making decisions about a child’s education. Citizens want their elected representatives making decisions about how much and, more importantly, how education dollars are being spent.”


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