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Kansas House Approves Block Grants for Schools

The Kansas House chamber. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

On a narrow 64-57 vote the Kansas House has approved a bill to replace the current school funding formula with block grants. The two-year grants would give lawmakers time to rewrite the formula.

Some Republicans have called the current school funding system broken. Republican Representative Marvin Kleeb says the block grant bill also makes improvements while they’re considering a new plan.

“I am pleased to support a bill that increases funding for schools and is fair, that will be equitable and will restore local control to school boards and administrators,” says Kleeb.

The bill does include new school spending, although much of it would go to teacher pensions. Some lawmakers have complained that the bill actually reduces funding this year to some school districts.

Republican Representative Don Hineman says the bill, which was unveiled just last week, has moved too fast through the process.

“Let’s not pass it to learn what is in it. A bill which directs the expenditure of half the of the state general fund merits extensive and careful deliberation,” says Hineman.

The Senate could vote to approve the legislation as soon as early next week.

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