Legislative Advocacy and Platform

Shawnee Mission School District Legislative Platform 2019

The Shawnee Mission School District will advocate for all our students, employees, and district. We recognize, however, that the school district boundaries are not the limits of our support. The Shawnee Mission School District joins other districts in supporting constitutionally suitable funding of public education to serve our kids, our community, our economy, and our state.

  1. Protect the authority of the Kansas Constitution that ensures suitable provisions for the equitable and adequate finance of public education for all students in Kansas.
     
  2. Support increased funding and increased access to mental health and behavioral health services for students and families.
     
  3. Support a response to the Gannon decision of 2018 that addresses the remaining Court concern that adequacy will require additional resources to address inflationary increases from prior year funding.
     
  4. Support greater opportunities for communities to utilize operational and capital funds at the local level with equalization.
     
  5. Support rigorous academic standards to prepare students to meet or exceed the Rose Standards in preparation for success in a globally competitive workforce.
     
  6. Support a stable school finance formula that covers the costs of providing every student the opportunity to be college and career ready, that is financially sustainable, promotes efficiency, accountability, greater local funding flexibility, target students at risk with supports for teachers and students, and ensures educational excellence for all students in Kansas.
     
  7. Support special education services and state funding at the required 92% of excess cost and mitigate the wide variance in reimbursements.
     
  8. Expand funding for early learning programs to recognize and address academic and social needs as quickly as possible for all kids, particularly children at-risk.
     
  9. Support fully funding local, state, and federal mandates.
     
  10. Support legislation to repeal or reduce the private education tuition tax credit program, and oppose vouchers, or similar programs.
     
  11. Support maintaining non-partisan school board elections and seek resolution to the challenges created by the fall election cycles. 
     
  12. Support the sole authority of locally elected school boards to approve charter schools, as granted by state statute in accordance with the Kansas Constitution and require charter schools to operate with the same requirements as public schools.
     
  13. Support the authority of the State Board of Education and locally elected school boards to adequately measure student achievement and educational success as granted by state statute in accordance with the Kansas Constitution and in conjunction with legislative oversight.  Grading schools and districts based on measures such as standardized tests or other static measures do not accurately reflect performance.
     
  14. Support policies and actions to recruit and retain educators and support staff including fully funding KPERS, returning to a KPERS Tier 2 structure and the associated benefits therein for employees hired after January 2015, and restoration of statewide due process.