One of the key elements of the Kansas school finance formula is that it is designed in such a way to make sure that all districts in the state — rich or poor, large or small — are able to provide an outstanding public education to their students.
This structure is based on a few factors, including …
- Property wealth of a school district. This measures the ability of local boards to collect taxes from businesses and homeowners. Eudora is a property-poor district, which means we should receive additional funds from the state in several areas of our budget: the general fund, the capital outlay budget and the local option budget. It also helps fund construction projects. in fact, state aid on bond and interest made it possible for Eudora voters to afford the much-needed school bond issues passed in 1994, 2001 and 2007.
- Student risk factors. This measures the additional needs that some students have and includes such categories as English language learners, homeless and migrant students and students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. Districts with larger number of students in these groups should receive additional funding to help schools provide the wide variety of supports these students may need to be successful.
Why does this matter? It matters a lot because Eudora’s school system would not be what it is today without the equalization aid we’ve received from the state, through the school finance formula. Districts with greater property wealth automatically generate the funds they need, but districts like ours depend on state aid. Don’t believe me? Consider this: Eudora taxpayers’ 20 mills account for only a little more than 10% of our total general fund. The rest comes in from state and federal sources. Click here to read more about mills and the mill rate.
Here’s the long and the short of it:Without equitable and adequate state aid, Eudora residents will pay much more – with sharp increases in local property taxes and student fees – and get much less. But when the Kansas Legislature meets its Constitutional duty to fund schools both equitably and adequately, every Kansas community can afford great schools, regardless of zip code.