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Kansas Lawmakers Mulling Response to School Funding Ruling

Senate President Susan Wagle. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)
Senate President Susan Wagle. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

Kansas lawmakers will be working to determine how to respond to a court ruling over school funding. The Kansas Supreme Court says lawmakers haven’t done enough to reduce funding disparities between school districts. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the justices say lawmakers have to fix it by the end of June.


Republican Senate President Susan Wagle says the best option may be rewriting the funding formula for the state’s nearly 300 school districts. But she says the court isn’t giving them enough time to comply, because rewriting the Kansas school funding system is a huge job.


“That task cannot be accomplished by a citizen legislature without developing a ground game of communication and without having a lot of hearings,” says Wagle.


But Democratic Senator Laura Kelly says there’s a much simpler way to do it, go back to the old funding system, maybe with some tweaks.


“Essentially, the template is there, and it would be a very simple maneuver to just put that back into place and figure out how much funding we need to add." says Kelly.


Lawmakers will need to choose how to deal with the ruling, and if it takes more money, where that funding will come from.



Stephen Koranda is KPR's Statehouse reporter.