If at First You Do Succeed, Repeat: School Group Lobbies for More

Over a dozen school districts banded together to pressure the Kansas Legislature to spend more on state aid. They got it–more than $800 million more. Now they’ve decided to stay in the lobbying business:

A coalition of Kansas school districts successful in a lawsuit prompting big increases in state funding of public education is shifting its focus exclusively to lobbying, an attorney for the group said Friday.

Schools for Fair Funding, financed in the past with contributions from 19 school districts, filed lawsuits that led to the Kansas Supreme Court ruling the state’s system of funding schools was unconstitutional.


Districts still active in Schools for Fair Funding met last week in Newton to map strategy for the future, said John Robb, a Newton attorney serving as general counsel to the nonprofit organization.

“The unanimous consensus was to keep the group together and shift the emphasis away from litigation and toward lobbying,” Robb said.

Lobbying activities will be financed through voluntary contributions by school districts in Kansas. A recruiting effort hasn’t been launched, but Robb said district superintendents in Wichita, Independence, Salina, Leavenworth, El Dorado, Emporia, Arkansas City, Newton, Augusta, Hays, Great Bend and Kansas City, Kan., expressed support.

School districts are expected to kick in $2 per student of taxpayer money so that they can … lobby for more taxpayer money.

Since the Kansas Association of School Boards already does lobbying, it appears that these districts will be going to the well a second time when it comes to lobbying.

(School funding group switching to lobbying, Topeka Capital Journal, June 9)

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