“Thank you for eliminating some of the original parts of the formula that were so controversial,” Board Member Jana Shaver told Brownback’s policy director, Landon Fulmer, who presented the plan during this morning’s meeting.
“We do listen,” Fulmer told her.
Brownback’s office has discarded some controversial aspects of the law such as a Local Option Sales Tax. According to Fulmer, he realized the acronym for that part of the original plan was LOST, and he now realizes it is a “lost cause.”
Basically, the governor is proposing a school financing plan with four key elements:
- Kansas will pay each district $4,492 in Base Aid per pupil. A change from the current system is that this base aid will not be modified depending on factors such as whether students have special needs or reside in areas where cost of living is higher.
- Each district will pay a set amount of property taxes revenue into a Property Tax Equalization Fund. Kansas will then redistribute funds based on varying budgetary needs of districts.
- Local Effort, the amount of property tax revenue districts raise locally that is over and above the amount they required for the equalization fund, remains in the district.
- Finally, Kansas will make Supplemental Equalization Fund payments to districts that have not met their budgetary needs through base aid, the property tax equalization fund and local effort.
The KC Education Enterprise will publish more details of the governor’s school financing plan later today.
The Kansas State Board of Education is meeting this week, December 13-14, in Topeka.
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