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Nov. 20, 2017
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2016 Statute


72-6482. Legislative intent for equalization state aid. (a) The legislature hereby declares that the intent of this act is to ensure that public school students receive a constitutionally adequate education through a fair allocation of resources among the school districts and that the distribution of these funds does not result in unreasonable wealth-based disparities among districts. In particular, the legislature: (1) Has been advised of the constitutional standard for equity as set forth in the supreme court's ruling in Gannon v. State, Case No. 113,267, ___ Kan. ___, 2016 WL 540725 (Feb. 11, 2016), including preceding school finance decisions; (2) endeavored to memorialize the legislative evidence and deliberations conferees shared as the legislature considered the best way to meet this constitutional standard; and (3) arrived at the best solution to discharge its constitutional duty to make suitable provision for finance of the educational interests of the state. To this end, this legislation shall be liberally construed so as to make certain that no funding for public schools will be enjoined.

(b) The legislature has been advised that funding disruptions and uncertainty are counter-productive to public education and that the funding certainty of the classroom learning assuring student success act is critical to the effective operation of school districts. Furthermore, the evidence before the legislature confirms that the total amount of school funding meets or exceeds the supreme court's standard for adequacy. As a result, the legislature believes that it has enacted legislation that both fairly meets the equity requirements of article 6 of the constitution of the state of Kansas and does not run afoul of the already adequate funding as demonstrated by the excellent results of the public education system made known to the legislature.

(c) The legislature hereby finds and declares the following:

(1) That, based on testimony from the state department of education and other parties involved in the public education system, a hold harmless fund is necessary in light of the fact that many school budgets are set based upon the provisions of the classroom learning assuring student success act;

(2) that the prior equalization formulas used for capital outlay state aid and supplemental general state aid had no basis in educational policy, and that it is preferable to apply a single equalization formula to both categories of state aid;

(3) that this act fully complies with the supreme court's order, but that there is an untenable risk the act may be found to be unconstitutional and, as a result, all educational funding could be enjoined. The risk of disrupting education in this regard is unacceptable to the legislature, and as a result, the provisions of this act should be considered as severable; and

(4) that, based on testimony from the state department of education, the state board of education may be able to more quickly respond to and address concerns raised by the school districts, including, without limitation, emergency needs or a demonstrated inability to have reasonably equal access to substantially similar educational opportunities through similar tax effort.

History: L. 2016, ch. 45, § 2; July 1.

2017. Powered by KLISS. Rendered: 2017-11-20T19:15:38. Head Rev No: 338915