KANSAS CITY, Kan. - The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that Kansas' poor school districts were harmed when the state cut certain payments during the recession. The Kansas City, Kan., Public School District is among those districts.
Since 2010, the KCKPS district has eliminated 130 teachers and 270 staff positions. The district blames a $47 million reduction in state funding for the aggressive cuts.
District Superintendent Dr. Cynthia Lane said the Supreme Court’s decision puts education first for all students. The court voted unanimously that Kansas' school funding is unconstitutional and denies poorer school districts necessary funding.
"It says that education matters for kids. All communities don't have equal resources so the state needs to make sure that there are equitable resources for school, for everyone," Lane said.
Doctor Lane held a news conference at the district headquarters Friday morning to share the court’s decision. Schlagle High School 11th grader Kayleen Perkins listened to the district's remarks and believes the money will help all students in Wyandotte County.
"People think, oh just because we're from Wyandotte County we can't go out and be this. We want to be successful and we can't do that without the help of the funding and the school district," Perkins said.
The equitable funding formula will be up to local legislators; but Superintendent Lane is optimistic that soon, the students will have more room and one-on-one time with their teacher.
The court gave the legislature until July 1 to close the funding gap that's estimated at $130 million.