Kansas parents talk about school funding and its importance

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Ask most parents, they’ll tell you, their child’s education is important.

“I have three boys in school, junior high, fourth and first grade,” says parent Dessa Motlusz.

“What happens in that school? What happens to them and what kind of kind education they are receiving?” adds parent Tiffany Moss.

And to the Kansas Supreme Court, making sure each school is given enough money to properly educate children is important.

That’s why the court is making legislators come up with a plan by June 30 to do just that.

Moss says, “Our children are our biggest asset. We need to make sure that we are taking care of our children and if they need things for their school it needs to be provided.”

While a bill proposed would increase school spending by $75 million next year, legislators and school officials say it is still woefully short and leaves out important funding for kids who require additional help.

It also includes potential property tax increases, but Superintendent of Valley Center schools Cory Gibson says they are disproportionate for different districts.

Moss says it’s important for her child to have a fair education. She says, if taxes were fairly raised, she could justify paying them.

“I feel like it is a fair assessment. If we are imposing on the people, who are the parents of these children, to pay for their education, to a certain extent, I don’t think that’s a bad idea. It is our responsibility.”

But Matlotz says she spends hundreds of dollars on textbooks her kids can’t even bring home, and that schools should use their money more wisely.

“For three children it is almost $600 and that is kind of crazy. And if they raise the taxes they will be paying even more.”

The bill also includes a potential tax credit for sending a child to private school.

“My tax money goes to the public school so it would be nice to be able to use part of that to help me put my kids into our Catholic school,” says Kelli Lubbers.

This is the first of a three day hearing on the proposed bill.

Under the proposal, 98 districts would lose funding from the state because the formula is based on attendance.

Hutchinson, one of the districts that filed the original school funding lawsuit against the state, would lose $2.4 million.

The rest of the districts, about 200, would receive more money including 26 that would get more than $1 million dollars each.

USD 259 would get $9 million more.

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