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Senators Warren, Olson vote for funding cuts to BV Schools

This article was originally posted 03/18/2021 on SUBV Facebook page

HUGE CUTS to school funding passed in the Kansas Senate yesterday! Here’s how BV-area Senators voted on Senate Bill 267.

Voting AGAINST BV Schools by voting YES: Sen. Kellie Warren (SD 11) Sen. Rob Olson (SD 23)

Voting FOR BV Schools by voting NO: Sen. Cindy Holscher (SD 8 ) Sen. Molly Baumgadner (SD 37)

Senate Bill 267, as described by the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB): “The bill would remove $570 million in state funds for schools and replace it with federal funds that are supposed to be used for COVID-19 related expenses, including the effort to help students recover learning loss due to the pandemic.

According to the Kansas Department of Education, this supplanting of federal dollars for state dollars is probably not allowed under the federal law providing the aid. Even if it were, it would reduce funding to help students, especially those most affected by the COVID pandemic.

...the bill cuts from the Governor’s budget $183.2 million in general state aid and Local Option Budget state aid for next year (Fiscal year 2021-22), and $280.3 million the following year, 2022-23. These are the final two years of base increases under the Gannon school finance plan, which was intended to restore base operating aid to 2009 inflation-adjusted levels over a six-year phase-in.”

You read that right: Our Blue Valley schools are still not even operating at 2009 funding levels, when adjusting for inflation.

Senate Bill 267 “also removes $52.8 million in both years for high density at-risk weighting. This weighting factor was “sunset” in state law, but was extended by proviso in the Governor’s budget.”

People. The legislature JUST agreed in the spring of 2019 to fund our schools adequately. Then in the November 2020 election, *even more* anti-public education legislators were elected (many claiming to support our BV schools - because how would voters know the difference?) and now Here. We. Are.

Elections have consequences. How many Blue Valley parents would be shocked to know that BV-area legislators are going to Topeka and voting to cut money from our schools? We will keep #WatchingTheirVotes and reporting on them. It’s really all we can do at this point - aside from thanking Sen. Cindy Holscher and Sen. Molly Baumgardner for voting against this insanity.

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