We’re five days away from the Kansas primary and all week KSN has been breaking down the issues that matter to you, the voters.
The battle with the Kansas Supreme Court over properly paying for schools is something three of the four major Republican gubernatorial candidates want to put an end to.
“We will advocate for a constitutional amendment in our state constitution that better defines suitability and who is responsible for determining that,” explained Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer.
Selzer along with Governor Jeff Colyer and Secretary of State Kris Kobach support passing a constitutional amendment to take the power away from the high court and put it in the lawmakers hands when it comes to determining funding for schools.
“If the people want to spend more, then their representatives will vote to spend more. If the people want to spend the same amount, then their representatives will vote that way,” explained Kobach.”We don’t have control right now. the Kansas Supreme Court has seized control and they’re not elected.”
In June, the high court ruled the new school finance law, signed by Governor Jeff Colyer, was insufficient because it didn’t account for inflation.
The law phases in more than $525 million to schools over the next five years.
“The inflation rate really in Kansas now is running about one and a half to two percent. So we’re talking about a small stair step adjustment over the next few years,” said Colyer.
Former State Senator Jim Barnett said the state should be investing more in schools in order to grow the state’s economy.
“It’s not just K-12, higher ed needs to be funded as well. The community colleges and technical colleges; they are the workhorse for workplace creation,” Barnett said.
The court gave lawmakers another year to find the money to pay for the inflation factor.
The Kansas primary is Tuesday, August 7.