Fairfield Parents and Community,
This is a continuation of last month’s article. Most recently, both the Kansas Senate and House of Representatives passed a bill that will most likely be signed by the Governor. This bill is considered block grants for state funding of public education for the next two fiscal years of 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. It repeals the current funding formula that has been law since 1992. The funding is based on what districts received the current year of 2014-2015. The bill does so by readjusting the equalization aid they give to districts for Supplemental General fund (Local Option Budget) and Capital Outlay. Many districts will see a significant decrease in state aid in those two funds.
The courts can and may step in because the current funding formula is the subject of a lawsuit. The lawsuit is based on the state’s response to it’s responsibility under the current funding formula towards equalization of the capital outlay and supplemental general funds.
As you can imagine, all across the state districts are bracing for the reduced spending authority. This will affect programs and staffs will be cut in many places. Fortunately for our district USD #310, we do not receive state aid for either of these funds. We will be able, through cost cutting measures, to keep our staff in place and all of our programs in place during the block grant funding. Some of the cost cutting measures being considered are altering summer school for middle school aged students; reducing classroom budgets to half; reducing summer help; reorganizing staff to be more efficient; and possibly ending school early this May to name a few ideas.
The concern is, what happens after the two years? With a new formula, many different things could happen that could be detrimental to our district. A lot can and will be proposed between now and the end of the possible block grant funding. Your school board members and superintendent are committed to representing the families of this district and protect the education system that has been built over time!
What can you do as a concerned parent, community member, and patron? You can contact your state legislators and express your interest in how rural schools will be affected with any new formula. Our representatives do listen!
Please go out and vote for our board members this April 7th! There are five candidates for four at-large positions. Our Sophomore English students recently interviewed all five candidates for the Record, check out the article for more information on each person running.
Superintendent of Schools USD 310 Fairfield