I know the importance of a quality public education, and I value teachers and school staff. I volunteer in the classroom and on the Rising Star PTA executive board. Teachers should have access to training, the right to due process, and the state must have high standards for licensing and hiring teachers. Schools should have the capacity to hire student support services staff and prioritize the needs of our most vulnerable students. We have to make sure that our policies help schools attract and retain excellent teachers.
Kansas students have the right to an adequately funded education. The Kansas Supreme Court found the 2019 school funding formula to be adequate, and the court will make sure that the legislature fully funds schools through 2023. Kansas lawmakers must ensure that school funding reflects the changes in educational costs. Kansas schools lost more Federal Title I funding than any other state in 2019, and 5 out of 13 Title I schools in the Shawnee Mission School District lost their Title I status after the district lost over $1 million in funding.
My son attends one of the schools that lost Title I status, so I see the continued impact that these cuts have on education. Funding cuts over the years have led to larger class sizes, program cuts, and a greater difficulty in teachers being able to meet the needs of their students. We are on the long road to recovery, and I understand the need to continue to invest in education.