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Dear Friend: 

Your Kansas legislature is back in session this week and we’ve got a lot to do! As you likely heard, the Supreme Court announced during the break their decision on our state’s school finance formula. The block grant formula was affirmed constitutionally inadequate. The block grant system used the past two years fails to meet the MINIMUM constitutional standards for K-12 education and now we have until June 30, 2017, to develop a finance formula that will better serve all Kansas students.

As I walked into the Capitol today, school finance was at the top of my mind. I serve on the House K-12 budget committee. It’s this committee that’s been charged to examine the myriad of ideas around how best to fund our schools so our students have the best chance to succeed. My career has been spent working with the school finance formula developed in 1992 and used until 2015. I know its strengths and I know its pitfalls.

That experience is an asset I bring to the committee and I’m pleased this is an area I can offer my service. The K-12 budget committee will work to develop a formula and then send that to the entire House of Representatives to consider. Our work on this process starts today and I’m ready to do my part to make the Kansas public school system the strongest it can be.

This is a difficult task, especially in light of our budget instability. There is nearly universal agreement that in order to bring the state into compliance with our Constitution, we’ll have to put additional dollars into our public education system. With 1 in 4 Kansas students failing to achieve proficiency in basic Math and English, we have to use any additional resources to improve student outcomes. 

Contact Rep. Karleskint
At the Capitol:

785-296-7683
300 SW 10th, Room 512-N
Topeka, KS 66612

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Challenges present opportunities, and that’s certainly how I view this situation. We now have the chance to develop a 21st-century plan that will meet the needs of today’s students. How can we best prepare them for the world? We need a fiscally responsible plan that allows us the flexibility to change as needs change and ensures the dollars are allocated to do the most good.

From my first day on the campaign trail and nearly every day since I’ve been your legislator, I’ve had many conversations with you about our public school system and the needs therein. I know our public schools are part of the fabric of our local communities and the work happening in them builds entire generations. We have to get this right!

As your legislator, I can’t guarantee outcomes because I’m only one vote of 125, but I can assure you this: I’m committed to working alongside my colleagues to develop a reasonable plan that brings our state into compliance with the Constitution, assures our young people have quality educational opportunities, supports the challenging work our educators and support staff do each day, and uses our taxpayer resources in a responsible and fiscally conservative way. 


Resources
Full Gannon Decision (83 pages): http://kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/opinions/SupCt/2017/20170302/113267.pdf
Lawrence Journal-World:
KCUR: Kansas Supreme Court Rules School Funding Formula 'Inadequate' Under State Constitution
Kansas City Star: Kansas Supreme Court rules the state has failed to ensure adequate education funding 
Topeka Capital-Journal: 
Kansas lawmakers differ on meaning of school funding ruling

 
Please continue to reach out to me with your ideas and questions. It’s an honor to serve District 42.

Thank you, 


Rep. Jim Karleskint
Serving rural Leavenworth & Douglas Counties
Copyright © 2017 Paid for by Karleskint for Kansas, Lois Meadows, Treasurer, All rights reserved.


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