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KS Senate Considering Bill to Trim Education Funding

Senator Ty Masterson speaking to reporters last month. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

A proposal in the Kansas Senate would cut back aid to school districts in the current fiscal year. Lawmakers passed legislation increasing one type of school funding last year in response to a court ruling. But as KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, when all the variables were finalized, the cost was more than expected.

Some Kansas lawmakers are unhappy because they thought they’d be adding about $130 million dollars, but the cost ballooned. Here’s Republican state Senator Ty Masterson speaking last month.

“So that’s a big surprise, and it’s hard to make those adjustments, and we really need to come back, revisit that and meet legislative intent,” says Masterson.

The Senate bill would trim back the state funding by nearly $40 million. Mark Tallman, with the Kansas Association of School Boards, says going back now and cutting would be an unwelcome surprise for schools.

“Not only does it mean you’re halfway through the year when you’re being notified, but in many cases district operations are already locked in because you’ve got teacher contracts, for example, you’ve got things that are already in place,” says Tallman.

A Senate committee will hold a hearing on the bill tomorrow (TUE).

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