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Kansas Lawmakers Must Overcome Divisions to Reach School Funding Agreement

Budget negotiators meeting at the Statehouse earlier this year. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

Kansas lawmakers will return to the Statehouse later this week for a special session focused on education spending, and they’ll have to overcome some significant divisions to reach an agreement. The state Supreme Court says they need to reduce inequalities among school districts by the end of the month or schools could close. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports.

Some Kansas lawmakers say the answer is simple, appropriate nearly $40 million for a certain type of school aid to fix the problem. Others will only agree to that if it includes a so-called hold harmless provision that guarantees no district loses overall state support. But there are legal questions about that. Still other legislators say the court is overstepping its bounds and lawmakers should push back. Here’s Republican Representative John Rubin.

“It’s time we stood up for our constitutional authority as a co-equal branch of government. I, for one, plan to vote against any proposal of any way, shape or form that will add one more dollar to schools,” says Rubin.

The special session kicks off Thursday, just a week until the deadline the court set to fix the issue.

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