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Kansas House Advances New School Funding Formula

The Kansas House chamber during the debate. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

 
The House has advanced a new formula for funding Kansas schools on an 81-40 vote.

The plan is aimed at satisfying the state Supreme Court, which has ruled that school spending is inadequate. If it’s not fixed by the end of June, schools could close.
 
The bill includes a base amount of funding per Kansas student and has weightings that can add more money for various factors, such as the number of low-income kids in a school district.

Republican Representative Larry Campbell ran the committee that built the plan, and he believes it will satisfy the court.
 
“We’re heading in the right direction. I think the structure is much better and the funding will support the structure,” said Campbell.
 
The bill adds $280 million in additional money over the next two years. Some Democrats tried to increase that amount, but the chamber rejected it. Minority Leader Jim Ward believes the funding level sets them up for more legal problems.
 
“A return trip to Topeka. They will declare it unconstitutionally inadequate and we’ll be back for a special session,” said Ward.
 
There will likely be a final vote on the bill Thursday, which would send it to the Senate for consideration.

Stephen Koranda reports:


 

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