Colyer calls for school finance solution that ‘ends lawsuits for good’

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer visited the Shawnee Mission School District’s Center for Academic Achievement during the Grand Opening event this past fall. Photo via Colyer on Twitter.

As the Supreme Court’s April 30 deadline for the legislature to formulate a new school finance formula nears, Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer, a Leawood physician, issued a statement today setting out the parameters of the kind of solution he’ll be willing to sign.

Calling for a bill that addresses the court’s mandates while phasing in increased funding to “give schools time to plan and spend most effectively,” Colyer asked legislators to be prepared to send him a bill when they return from Easter break.

Here’s the full statement:

In the last two weeks, I have had many productive meetings with education stakeholders and legislators, listening to their thoughts, concerns, and suggestions. I am confident that we can reach an agreement on a solution that ends the school finance litigation and serves the best interests of our children and the state of Kansas.

I applaud the work of the Kansas Senate this week to address the equity fixes required by the Kansas Supreme Court. I also appreciate the hard work of the House’s K-12 Education Budget Committee.

Last month, I shared with Kansans a framework for responding to the school finance ruling:

  • 1. We must keep our schools open.
  • 2. We need a definitive solution that ends the school finance lawsuits for good.
  • 3. Increased funding should be accomplished using a phased-in approach that will give schools time to plan and spend most effectively.
  • 4. We need to ensure the investment is sustainable without increasing the tax burden on Kansas families.
  • 5. Lastly, and I think most importantly, we must insist on accountability and improved outcomes.

As I have said before, I will support any effort that meets these objectives, keeps our schools open, and ends the cycle of litigation once and for all.

As legislators go home this evening for Easter weekend, I am calling on the legislature to send a school finance bill to my desk before they leave Topeka again. Let’s get this done.”