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No Clear Path in Sight for K-12 Funding as Kansas Lawmakers End Committee Meetings

The Kansas Statehouse. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

Kansas lawmakers are still at odds over how - and whether - to comply with a court order to fix public school funding. Two legislative committees wrapped up meetings Friday, but didn’t come up with any concrete recommendations on how to respond to the court ruling.  Democratic Representative Jim Ward says he's disappointed.

“The frustrating part is that I thought for a while there we actually were going to make some recommendations that would give the Legislature a focus when we came back next week,” says Ward.

Lawmakers return to Topeka next week for a special session focused on education funding. Even though the committees didn’t produce specific recommendations, Republican Representative Erin Davis says they still made progress.

“For us to know where the hiccups are going to be today, a week prior to the special session starting, gives us that opportunity to begin working those kinks out,” says Davis.
Lawmakers disagree on whether to add additional funding for schools and whether they should try to hold all districts harmless so they don't lose any current funding.

The Kansas Supreme Court says lawmakers must reduce funding disparities among schools by the end of the month or schools could be closed.   

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