Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget plan assumes millions of dollars in savings on education based on an efficiency study. It looks like those savings might not materialize, at least for the coming fiscal year.
The two proposals would have centralized Kansas school district purchasing and put all school employees into a single health plan. A House subcommittee says the changes could not be in place by next fiscal year.
Democratic Rep. Jim Ward isn’t surprised. He says the study may not have accounted for the different situations among districts.
“When you ask auditors and bean counters ‘just look at numbers,’ you don’t take into account what’s going on on the ground,” Ward says.
But lawmakers might still try to get at some of the savings. Republican Rep. Erin Davis says they could look at ways to persuade districts to centralize their purchasing.
“We just have to decide, I think part of it will be through the school finance formula, if there will be incentives given to districts to be efficient,” Davis says.
Without the projected savings, it would take $50 million more in cuts or tax increases to balance next year’s budget.