Kansas House Republicans have outlined a plan that fully funds aid to poor school districts... but ties the money to policy changes that expand parents' choices on where to send their children to school.
The bill provides an additional $129 million dollars to poor school districts, in compliance with a recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling in an education funding lawsuit.
State lawmakers are resuming their talks about education funding.
A Kansas Supreme Court ruling last week said the state has created inequalities between schools districts and that lawmakers violated the Kansas Constitution by cutting funds that help equalize school district budgets.
The group that filed that lawsuit, and some lawmakers, say the solution is to restore more than $100 million dollars in education funds.
Democratic House Representative and governor candidate Paul Davis says Kansas has fallen short.
A special legislative committee is opening two days of hearings to review the Kansas school finance system and study the practices of neighboring states.
The meetings Wednesday and Thursday also include a discussion of staffing changes by school districts and how they compare to neighboring states. Policy analysts are expected to also discuss trends in school choice programs nationwide.
The committee is led by Republican Kasha Kelley, chair of the House Education Committee, and Republican Senator Steve Abrams, a former State Board of Education member.
I don’t know about you but I’m seeing signs of spring everywhere these days! The tiniest hint of green on my lawn; birdsong in the mornings; two whole weeks without snow and that surest indicator of Spring in Kansas – state legislators giving more tax breaks to businesses while our schools agonize over deep budget cuts.
You see, our legislators argue that they may be creating new jobs for our state by giving businesses these tax breaks. You know, to sort of offset the jobs lost due to school budget cuts.