Governor Kelly Celebrates Fully Funding Schools for the Fifth Year in a Row

– To celebrate Kansas students going back to school, Governor Laura Kelly joined Blue Valley School District leaders, teachers, and students in Overland Park today, where she ceremonially signed House Substitute for Senate Bill 113. This legislation fully funds K-12 education for the fifth consecutive year after nearly a decade of schools being chronically underfunded under the previous administration.  

“This year, we fully funded public schools for the fifth year in a row and made historic investments in our K-12 system,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Now, for five years running, schools have been much better positioned to offer after-school activities, to provide critical intervention services to students who need additional support, and to pay teachers much closer to what they deserve. But our work isn’t done. When the legislators return in 2024, we must work together to put Kansas on the path to fully fund special education.” 

Governor Kelly’s visit to Indian Valley Elementary began with a brief tour of the school led by 5th grade students. 

“We know that our most important asset in Blue Valley is our amazing staff,” said Dr. Tonya Merrigan, Superintendent of Blue Valley Schools. “Fully funding schools allowed us to provide a significant raise for this group who works so hard for our students.” 

In May, Governor Kelly also line-item vetoed aspects of SB 113 to protect funding for rural schools facing declining enrollment. While the bill includes a $7.5 million increase in funding for special education, it does not include the $72 million Governor Kelly called for throughout the legislative session. More information about the bill’s historic investments can be found HERE

“We appreciate Governor Kelly’s strong commitment to public education and her efforts to fully fund public education as the Kansas Constitution requires,” said Patty Logan, chair of parent group Stand Up Blue Valley: Families for Our Schools. “We want to remind Blue Valley voters that the Kansas legislature’s failure to fully fund excess special education costs causes Blue Valley Schools to redirect millions of dollars from critical general education needs to special education – negatively impacting ALL students in our district. We call on the legislature to do the right thing and vote to fully fund excess special education costs, especially legislators from Blue Valley who claim to support our schools.”  

Photos from today’s ceremonial signing are available for media use: