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How did BV-area legislators vote on Special Education funding during the 2022 legislative session?

More than 18% of Blue Valley students receive SpEd services - that’s much higher than the state average. The law calls for the state to reimburse 92% of the excess costs the district incurs - that is, costs over and above that of students who don’t get SpEd services. But the legislature has ignored this responsibility for years, and is currently only reimbursing 63%. This year, the difference is $12 million in Blue Valley. That means thdistrict must pull $12 MILLION from general education services to fund SpEd. Dollars that could have gone to increasing teacher salaries, lowering class sizes, or funding special programs have been diverted to SpEd funding that should have come from the state.

Back in 2022, the Kansas House voted on an amendment to fully fund excess SpEd costs. Kansas had a budget surplus of $3 BILLION at the time, but BV-area Representatives Chris Croft, Adam Thomas, Sean Tarwater, and Carl Turner all voted NO - AGAINST BV students. The amendment failed, and excess SpEd costs are still not being reimbursed at statutory levels. EVERY Blue Valley student is negatively impacted by the legislature’s ongoing refusal to meet SpEd funding obligations.

Fixing this significant problem is a Priority Level Legislative Position for our School Board - read all legislative positions here: 

“The Blue Valley School District supports funding the excess cost of special education services at the statutory 92 percent rate.”

Today, Kansas still has a budget surplus in the BILLIONS of dollars, thanks to responsible policy. Governor Laura Kelly wants to use some of this surplus to meet the state’s SpEd funding obligations. But will Reps. Chris Croft, Adam Thomas, Sean Tarwater, and Carl Turner decide to support our Blue Valley students and vote YES this session?

If you haven’t emailed your Kansas legislators, read here how to do that: Let them know you support the district’s position on fully funding excess SpEd costs - which benefits ALL Blue Valley kids.

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