KCKCC to offer two basketball camps for boys July 8-10

by Alan Hoskins
Two basketball camps for boys in the first through eighth grades will be offered at Kansas City Kansas Community College Monday through Wednesday, July 8-10.
Boys in the first through the fourth grades will have instruction from 9 a.m. to noon; those in the fifth through eighth grade will participate from 1 to 4 p.m. in the KCKCC Field House at 7250 State Ave.
Instruction will be provided by head coach Kelley Newton, assistant Eric Nitsche and members of the Blue Devil men’s basketball team.
The cost is $50 for participant and includes a camp T-shirt. Registration forms are available in the KCKCC Athletic Department in the Field House, online at knewton@kckcc.edu or by phone at 913-288-7168. Boys can also be registered by mail to Kelley Newton, KCKCC Athletic Dept., 7250 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan., 66112. Name, address, parent or guardian’s name, year in school, shirt size, phone and email address must be included with payment. All participants also must have signed medical release forms.

Listening tour scheduled Tuesday on education

Sen. Anthony Hensley’s listening tour on education will stop in Bonner Springs on Tuesday, June 17.

The meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. at Bonner Springs High School, 100 McDanield, Bonner Springs.

Teachers, parents, school employees and others interested in education are invited to attend the meeting.

Sen. Hensley, Senate Democratic Leader, has served in the Kansas Legislature for nearly 40 years. When the Legislature is not in session, he is a teacher. He represents parts of Douglas, Osage and Shawnee counties.

Both sides praised recent school finance panel decision

The panel decision last week in the school finance case received praise from both sides in the lawsuit.

The three-judge panel in Shawnee County found that the Legislature now has complied with part of the court order in the Gannon case, the equity issue to provide more state aid to the Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools and other school districts that have many needy students.

The KCK district and some other districts joined together in a group called Schools for Fair Funding to challenge school funding, which had not met earlier court directives in recent years. After a court order, the Legislature passed a school finance law that increased funding.

“Overall, the plaintiff school districts are extremely pleased with the panel’s decision to uphold HB 2506,” stated Alan Rupe, an attorney for the school districts. He is with the Kutak Rock firm in Wichita.

“Importantly, the panel did not dismiss the equity case and instead chose to ‘take no action,’” Rupe stated. “This is important because – as we argued [June 11] – although the Legislature has done what the Kansas Supreme Court ordered, it has not fully fixed the equity problems. Nonetheless, we believe our clients are best served by shifting the focus to the adequacy component of the lawsuit – in which we argue that the state has failed to provide enough funding to Kansas school districts.“

How will last week’s ruling affect Kansas City, Kan., students and other students from less wealthy districts?

“The answer is that it depends on the district,” Rupe stated. “Because HB 2506 did more than just add the equalization funding back in (i.e. – it changed some weightings so that some school districts would receive less funds), the results vary from district to district. However, in the Kansas City school district, we estimate that they will receive an additional $2.4 million in funding that will go to the classroom. Additionally, the Kansas City school district could receive additional funding if it raised its LOB [local option budget] percentage. However, it is doubtful that a district with the lower wealth that Kansas City, Kansas, has will have the ability to raise its LOB significantly.
“Again, overall, we are pleased with the panel’s decision to shift the focus to adequacy, which – if plaintiffs are successful – could potentially result in substantially more money being available to all Kansas school districts,” Rupe stated.

Representing the state of Kansas, Attorney General Derek Schmidt also had positive comments on the judges’ decision.

“We are pleased the panel found the state has fully complied with the Supreme Court’s order to fully fund capital outlay and local option budget equalization and that no further action on equity is required,” Schmidt stated. “We look forward to demonstrating in further proceedings that the state has also met its adequacy obligations as set forth by the Supreme Court.”