The House and Senate have approved a new plan for funding Kansas schools. The votes Monday send the bill to the desk of Governor Sam Brownback for consideration.
The bill would add nearly $300 million in additional school funding over two years. That’s in response to a state Supreme Court ruling that says Kansas schools are inadequately funded. Some lawmakers raised concerns that the plan would not satisfy the court and would mean a special session to address the issue again.
Republican Senator Dinah Sykes says with those issues in mind she reluctantly voted yes so districts can start preparing for the next school year.
“Not knowing is more harmful and our school boards need to set their budgets. I believe we will see this again and hopefully we will address these concerns and craft a better bill, but I am in support,” says Sykes.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning says they calculated the funding numbers carefully and he believes the bill will be approved by the court.
Earlier in the day, lawmakers rejected a bill combining tax increases and school spending into a single plan. After that failed, they separated the issues and passed the school funding plan on its own. Both chambers then approved a tax increase, which Governor Brownback promptly promised to veto.
Stephen Koranda has more: