Governor Laura Kelly Signs Senate Bill 387: A Major Step Towards Comprehensive Special Education Funding in Kansas

By Trish Svoboda

Today, May 15, Governor Laura Kelly signed the House Substitute for Senate Bill 387. This marks the sixth year in a row that K-12 education has been fully funded, and it also initiates the process of completely funding special education. This legislation shows Governor Kelly’s dedication to fully finance public schools and equip Kansas students with the necessary resources for learning throughout their lives.

The House Substitute for Senate Bill 387 allocates an additional $75.5 million toward state aid for special education. This includes $65.5 million from the new State General Fund support, $2.5 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act funds, and $7.5 million that was appropriated in 2023 for the upcoming school year. This funding will enable districts to more effectively attract and retain special education staff, ensuring that students with Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs) receive the necessary services. This funding signifies a phased-in approach to completely finance special education, in line with the state’s statutory obligation.

“Fully funding special education benefits each and every student and shows that Kansas supports and values our educators,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I appreciate the Legislature’s willingness to collaborate in a bipartisan manner to secure this increased funding. This is only the first step, as we must continue increasing special education funding in future years to meet the state’s obligation.

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