Well, it looks some people in the Kansas Legislature might be willing to take the chance.

Sen. Renee Erickson, R-Wichita

In the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Sen. Renee Erickson (R-Wichita) made a motion to remove funding for high-density at-risk weighting and local option budget (LOB) state aid to see if it can be paid for with COVID-19 relief money. We are all trying to figure out exactly what her motion said but it would appear to be a repeat of behavior in the Great Recession when Republicans supplanted school funding with temporary stimulus money.

The mess this creates is obvious and the lesson should have been learned with the last experience. When the legislature funds ongoing needs with temporary federal funding, it essentially creates a hole that must be filled when the temporary funds go away. In the meantime, legislators get used to not having to fund those continuous needs and somehow seem surprised that they later have to come up with more state money.

Supplanting state education funding with temporary federal stimulus money resulted in Kansas abandoning the promises of the Montoy school finance lawsuit resolution, finding ourselves in a new school finance lawsuit: Gannon. Like the Montoy resolution, the Gannon resolution is also in the middle of being phased in. The difference now is that the Kansas Supreme Court retains jurisdiction in the Gannon suit.

Of course, what happens here is all contingent upon whether the federal government will allow the expenditure of COVID relief funds on reoccurring needs. Most people believe that the strings tied to the COVID funds require them to be spent on issues directly related to the pandemic.

We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.