TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is defending his support for using a new school funding formula to encourage local districts to enact merit pay systems for teachers. The Republican governor responded to comments yesterday (THUR) from Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka. Hensley is a teacher and said he opposes merit pay because merit pay systems are marked by favoritism. He also said legislators should focus on issues that unite educators when they draft a new law for distributing more than $4 billion in aid to the state's 286 school districts. Brownback said Hensley is dismissing merit pay too quickly. He said lawmakers should hold hearings on merit pay systems and learn where they've worked. Lawmakers aren't sure how far they'll get this year in drafting a new school funding law.