Thursday, March 2, 2017
Dear Eudora Schools family,
This morning the Kansas Supreme Court announced an important decision for the schools and communities in our state. In a final ruling on the Gannon case, the court ruled that the state’s funding of public schools has been below the levels required by the Kansas Constitution. Our state legislature now must pass a new, constitutional funding formula by June. 30.
As a proud lifelong Kansan, I expect my elected officials to uphold the Constitution and respond quickly and constructively to the Supreme Court’s ruling. This will not be easy. Since the 2012 tax cuts, our state’s resources have dwindled, so a new finance plan will require a substantial dollar commitment from our Legislature. I have already asked the state lawmakers who represent our district – Sen. Tom Holland, Rep. Jim Karleskint and Rep. John Wilson – to help restore stable and sustainable tax policy and pass a funding formula that ensures Kansas kids and families, regardless of zip code, have access to a great public education.
Over the past several years, we all have felt the effects of inadequate funding, whether in larger class size, fewer electives and activities for students, increased fees that families must pay and the ever-growing workload of our employees. We have seen first-hand the ways that the state budget crisis has hurt our schools and community. Our state’s highest court has now ruled, definitively, that state lawmakers must act.
While it will take time to see how legislators address this ruling and develop a new finance formula, today is reason to celebrate. Today marks a critical moment in our state’s commitment to great public schools in Kansas, which began generations earlier. The next step -- restoring responsible state revenues and passing a constitutional funding formula -- will ensure that generations of Kansans to come will enjoy every opportunity that great public schools can provide.
I hope you will help me spread the word about why today’s news is so important to the quality of life and future of our community – but most importantly why quality public schools in Eudora matter for you and your family. Investing in public schools is the right thing for kids and families, it’s the right thing for towns of all sizes, and it’s the right thing for the future prosperity of our great state.
Superintendent of Schools