Shawnee Mission School District says latest school finance ruling shouldn’t impact funding for all-day kindergarten plan

Shawnee Mission School Superintendent Jim Hinson has been a supporter of the block grant bill deemed unconstitutional by a three-judge panel last week.
Shawnee Mission School Superintendent Jim Hinson has been a supporter of the block grant bill deemed unconstitutional by a three-judge panel last week.

The Shawnee Mission School District today said that the ruling issued in Shawnee County Friday deeming unconstitutional the block grant bill adopted by the state legislature should not impact the district’s plans to eliminate fees for all-day kindergarten and elementary school textbooks for the coming year.

District spokeswoman Leigh Anne Neal provided the following statement:

In our initial review of the three-judge panel’s ruling in the Gannon case, the school district does not anticipate a budgetary impact. The three-judge panel did not issue an injunction, so at this time the district is moving forward under the assumption that the block grant funding will be implemented. Therefore, the Shawnee Mission School District plans to continue with the elimination of fees for all-day kindergarten and the elimination of textbook fees at the elementary school level. The Shawnee Mission School District does not receive equalization aid for capital outlay, and the decision rendered by the three-judge panel does not increase spending authority for school districts.

Since the school finance formula began in 1992, Shawnee Mission School District leaders have advocated for improvements in school funding and have supported adequate and equitable funding for all Kansas school children including the students in our school district.

Shawnee Mission broke ranks with many area education funding advocates by supporting the block grant bill before it was passed by the legislature early this spring.