Kansas Legislature Fails to Fully Fund Special Education, Ignoring State Statute

TOPEKA, Kansas – The Kansas Legislature has come under scrutiny for its failure to fully fund special education programs, despite a state statute that requires 92% reimbursement for school districts’ extra costs. With only 69% being paid, the lawmakers seem to be ignoring their own laws when it comes to special education.

The issue was highlighted by Kansas Reflector journalists Tim Carpenter and Rachel Mipro, who reported that legislative leaders, including Rep. Kristey Williams and Sen. Renee Erickson, had dismissed the idea of convening a task force to address the funding shortfall. They argued that the proposed solution of providing more money was too simplistic. Williams even expressed a desire to rewrite the special education rules altogether.

This refusal to follow the law not only undermines the importance of special education but also raises questions about the priorities of those in power. It is particularly concerning given the Legislature’s history of failing to fully fund K-12 schools until forced to do so by judges.

In addition to the issue of special education funding, another law that seems to be disregarded is the requirement to destroy state and national election ballots after 22 months. Attorney General Kris Kobach has asked Johnson County to retain its ballots, despite the passage of more than three years since the 2020 election. This raises concerns about Kobach’s selective enforcement of the law to suit his political agenda.

Lawmakers and law enforcement officials have a responsibility to uphold and follow the laws they pass and enforce. Failing to do so sends a message that their own personal interests are more important than the well-being of the people they represent. This is particularly troubling for the children who rely on special education services and the Kansans who deserve transparency and adherence to election laws.

In conclusion, the Kansas Legislature’s failure to fully fund special education and enforce ballot destruction laws raises questions about their commitment to serving the public interest. Children with special needs and voters deserve better from their elected representatives.