A report by the “legislative post audit committee” says more funding is needed to provide for special education in the Sunflower State.
The report says if recommended staffing levels were in place, special education in Kansas would cost between $940 million and $1.2 billion dollars. That money is a combination of state and federal funds.
State representative Monica Murnan says in recent years, the state hasn’t been providing enough money for federal dollars to kick in. She says that means local school districts have been using general revenue funds to make up for that, leaving them less to spend in other areas.
She says she wants to see the legislature work towards increasing state funds for special education in phases, and believes it could have several positive impacts.
“We know that our special education students are some of the highest at risk kids, at risk of failing in our system, additionally, we know that it would lessen the burden on our general funds, and, you know, finally I think that we would see that many kids would receive better services,” says Murnan.
The audit also indicates that special education teachers are becoming harder to find in Kansas. Murnan says over the next two decades, that’s likely to become a major issue for school districts.