House rejects special ed funding effort

The Kansas House rejected an amendment that would fund state special education at the 92% mark that is recommended by state law.

By

State News

March 23, 2022 - 2:22 PM

Rep. Nick Hoheisel said an amendment bringing Kansas toward 92% funding of special education would help mitigate many issues that special education programs, like the one attended by his daughter, who has autism, face on a daily basis. Photo by (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Kansas representatives went back and forth on an amendment Tuesday, ultimately rejecting an opportunity to fund state special education at the long-desired 92% mark.

Public schools in Kansas cover the costs of special education out of their operational budgets and apply for reimbursement from the amount the Legislature appropriates for that year. State law provides that Kansas should pay 92% of excess costs of special education, but there is no enforcement mechanism or penalty should the Legislature do otherwise.

In recent years, per the Gannon school finance plan, the legislature has added $7.5 million each year, bringing the proposal for 2022 to $520,380,818 or about 70%. While funding has increased each year, special education advocates argue that costs have also increased.

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