Every school district should weigh in on the stateís next school finance plan.
The Garden City USD 457 Board of Education is working on as much.
School board members should gauge thoughts of the people they serve, while district patrons should willingly help guide board members.
Citizens also need to hear more details from Topeka on a new plan to fund K-12 public schools.
School district officials and other Kansans essentially were shut out in 2015, when Gov. Sam Brownback and fellow ultraconservatives approved a two-year, fixed block-grant funding mechanism.
They recklessly scrapped a longstanding school finance formula and replaced it with block grants that failed to account for rising enrollment and other uncontrollable costs.
There was little debate and discussion. Ultraconservatives in charge flat-out dismissed educators and others who opposed the hastily crafted plan enacted with no permanent funding solution in mind.
Most of the testimony favoring the block-grant scheme that shortchanged school districts came from the Koch-supported Kansas Chamber and Kansas Policy Institute, which rely on the American Legislative Exchange Council for bills designed to shrink state government and benefit major corporate interests.
Those outfits have little regard for Kansas-specific solutions, and proved as much in guiding Statehouse ultraconservatives toward the block grants and massive income-tax cuts that sent the state into a fiscal tailspin.
Brownback, an ALEC-Koch disciple, also has been disgusted by Kansas Supreme Court rulings demanding constitutional funding of K-12 schools. Itís the driving force behind his desire to remove Supreme Court justices up for retention on Nov. 8.
Meanwhile, the need to replace the temporary block grants led Brownback to go outside his circle in calling for ideas from educators and others on a new K-12 funding system for the state.
Donít be fooled by his about-face, one driven by the fear of losing still more allies.
Ideally, a dramatically changed Legislature ó many Brownback supporters wonít be back next year ó will listen to school districts and others this time around.
The folks on the front lines best understand local issues related to education, and should be instrumental in work toward a fiscally sound plan to fund public schools.