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Kansas Lawmakers Could Soon Start Work on K-12 Funding

The Kansas Statehouse. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

Lawmakers have the tall order of creating a new school funding system for Kansas public schools. The temporary block grants that have been funding schools are set to expire this year.

There's more than one way lawmakers could try to tackle the issue. On big issues like school funding, Kansas lawmakers sometimes take the strategy of pursuing several different plans all at the same time. That can lead to committees pushing out multiple bills, but most of them go nowhere.

Republican Senator Molly Baumgardner, who chairs the Education Committee, says that’s not her strategy. She’d like a process with more consideration and public hearings on the issue of K-12 funding.  
 
“I think there’s a lot of heavy lifting to do. I want us to get it right before it gets out of committee,” says Baumgardner.
 
Governor Sam Brownback has not presented lawmakers with a school funding plan, but says he'd like to see a system that focuses less on the amount of money spent and more on student performance.

The House has created a special committee to work on school funding. Staff members say the Senate might do the same.

Stephen Koranda reports:


 

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