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BV-area legislators' votes on Open Enrollment and Special Education funding

This article was originally posted 05/01/2022 on SUBV Facebook page

Majority of Blue Valley-area Legislators Pass Bill Forcing District to Open Its Borders.

Any K-12 student in Kansas will be eligible to enroll in Blue Valley Schools starting in the 2023-24 academic year, based on final legislation sent by KsLeg to the Governor last week.

These BV-area legislators are directly responsible for fundamentally changing the landscape of our district and the value of our homes here. All voted FOR HB 2567:

KS Senate: Molly Baumgardner, Rob Olson, Kellie Warren

KS House: Chris Croft, Megan Lynn, Ron Ryckman, Sean Tarwater, Adam Thomas, Carl Turner

Additionally, Blue Valley Schools will NOT receive an incremental $9.8 Million in Special Education funding from the state under HB 2567. This means dollars to fully-fund SPED will continue being diverted from the district’s general operating revenue – resulting in less money for ALL kids in Blue Valley classrooms.

The district could have used $9.8 Million to lower class sizes, increase academic interventions – and more. Despite state projections of a $2.7 BILLION surplus in July 2022 and a $3.1 BILLION surplus in another 12 months, HB 2567 does NOT provision fully-funded Special Education in Kansas.

Many of the legislators who voted FOR HB 2567 claim to “support” Blue Valley Schools. Some even knocked doors during their election campaigns to make this claim. But their legislative votes have not proved this over time. HB 2567 is the latest example – and the most direct-hit on our district yet.

Please **THANK** the following BV-area legislators who fought against #OpenBorders, demanded fully-funded SPED, and who voted AGAINST HB 2567 and FOR Blue Valley Schools:

KS Senate: Cindy Hoscher

KS House: Linda Featherston, Heather Meyer, Dan Osman, Mari-Lynn Poskin

Read more about Open Enrollment and how it will affect our kids and their schools. (Importantly, Open Enrollment harms districts across Johnson County and the state in a variety of ways. Our focus here is specific to Blue Valley.):

Read more about SPED funding and impacts to Blue Valley Schools:

We’ll break down other aspects of HB 2567 in posts over the coming days and weeks, because there’s a LOT to unpack. But every Blue Valley parent and homeowner needs to read the information above, if nothing else.

If you know school parents and area homeowners who don’t follow our page, please consider sharing this post with them. Ask them to follow Stand Up Blue Valley on Facebook or We’re a non-partisan volunteer group of parents and community members who’ve been working to inform our neighbors about issues and legislation impacting our kids and their Blue Valley Schools since 2015.

Since HB 2567 complies with the KS Supreme Court order to fund schools under the Gannon decision – which is the most basic level of funding deemed to be constitutionally compliant by the Court – we expect Governor Kelly to sign this legislation into law. She has little choice, given the current hostile make-up of our legislature.

On a positive note, our members were very active this session in helping to defeat other efforts harmful to our kids and their Blue Valley Schools. We appreciate everyone who emailed their legislators, submitted testimony, and those who even traveled to Topeka in-person. For example, we were able to stop BV-area Rep. Sean Tarwater’s crusade to expand voucher-type programs via the House Education Budget Committee. We were also able to defeat attacks on teachers and our district’s Advanced Placement accreditation from College Board (legislation amusingly entitled the “Parents’ Bill of Rights”). This legislative session was bad for Blue Valley on the whole, but it could have been much worse if citizens hadn’t been paying attention and advocating.

Of course, ALL the anti-Blue Valley legislation being worked this session was backed by the dark-money Kansas Policy Institute and its president, Dave Trabert.

Read more about KPI and Dave Trabert here:

In anticipation of questions to our page, and for those just finding Stand Up Blue Valley: If you want to know what can be done to stop Open Enrollment and get full funding for SPED (funding that will free up dollars for students in the general education population)…

VOTE in 2022 and 2024.

In the 2022 election cycle, you’ll have the chance to vote *against* many of the legislators who voted FOR HB 2567. Save their names on your phone or write them down.

Changing the composition of the Blue Valley-area delegation to the Kansas Legislature is the ONLY way to STOP Open Enrollment before it begins in the 2023-24 school year. A new BV-area delegation in 2023 could turn the tide on Open Enrollment, along with fully-funding SPED and other legislation favorable to our schools.

Preempting (even more) questions from Blue Valley parents with kids who play high school and middle-school sports, or hope to someday: YES. Open Enrollment DOES DIRECTLY AFFECT YOUR STUDENT ATHLETE! Please read the links to our Open Enrollment post above. And YES, you were deceived by many of the BV-area legislators who claimed to “support” your student athlete. This is not the first vote these legislators have taken against your kid and it will not be the last if they are re-elected in 2022 and 2024. There is no way they can spin their votes differently.

Stay tuned to our page as we review this year’s legislative session in greater depth. It will take several posts and we hope you’ll stick with us.

We can also help connect you with efforts to support legislative candidates who will vote in favor of our kids and their Blue Valley Schools in Topeka. You can get started RIGHT NOW by sharing this post.

See the final vote counts, by legislative chamber, for HB 2567:

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