“Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.” Edward Hale
By working together to fully fund special education in Kansas all students, parents and community members will benefit. The state of Kansas is legally obligated to fund 92% of the excess costs of special education. Unfortunately, this has not occurred since 2011, leaving a heavy financial burden on local school districts. Rural school districts like USD 495 are at a particular disadvantage as they have had to use their operating budgets to fund the excessive costs of special education when these funds are desperately needed for personnel, curriculum and programming, transportation and facility improvement. Recently, Governor Laura Kelly has pledged in her 2024 fiscal budget to fund special education to its legal level over a five year period by increments of 72.4 million dollars per year until 2028. This is a welcome start to ensure fairness and equity for all Kansas students. However, the fight to fairness continues until the level is fully met. Attached is an infographic from the Kansas Association of School Boards explaining this complex issue. Working together for success all students and communities in Kansas can meet their fullest potentials.