For decades, Johnson County’s award-winning public schools have been key to our appeal as a place to live, work, and raise a family. When students thrive, they attract employers. When businesses grow, the broader economy grows. As the economy grows, property values and payroll taxes increase, which attracts new families.
High quality public education is designed to benefit all students, and is central to our success. It’s why we’ve seen the Johnson County economy grow by more than 75% over the past 20 years.
It’s easy to get lost in debates about how we pay for excellent schools. Some funding comes from state formulas; some comes from local property taxes; some comes from school bond initiatives (which then get repaid through local property taxes). I believe in fully funded public schools, which means:
- The state of Kansas honors its commitment to reimburse school districts for 92% of their excess special education costs;
- Tax revenues allocated for public education are not used to subsidize vouchers or other programs that redirect public money into private schools; and
- Community colleges are critical bridges between local school districts, universities, and employers, and should be managed at the local level.
When candidates and elected officials talk about public education, details are critical. Demand transparency about the intentions and impact of changes to school funding.