education funding

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

Some top Republican legislators in Kansas are looking to cut aid to public schools significantly to close a shortfall in the state's current budget by June 30.

Their goal is to avoid the accounting moves proposed by GOP Gov. Sam Brownback and used in the past to cover budget holes.

Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairwoman Carolyn McGinn said Friday that she's working on a bill to cut spending to close the projected $342 million shortfall in the state's current budget. The Sedgwick Republican said she hopes to have it drafted next week.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Lawmakers have the tall order of creating a new school funding system for Kansas public schools: The temporary block grants that have been funding schools are set to expire this year. Stephen Koranda reports on how legislators might begin the process.

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback laid out new policy proposals and budget plans during his State of the State address Tuesday. Even though Kansas faces a budget deficit adding up to almost a billion dollars by next year, the governor began his speech by showcasing some of the state's strong points. KPR's Stephen Koranda reports.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers have the tall order of writing a new school funding formula this year. There’s already some agreement between the governor and the organization representing school boards: They don’t want the current funding system extended.

Kansas legislators threw out the old school funding formula in 2015 and replaced it with block grants set to expire this year.

Some lawmakers are concerned they might get bogged down writing a new formula and end up extending the block grants. Gov. Sam Brownback says he’s not in favor of that.

Abigail Beckman / KMUW

Legislators from south-central Kansas gathered Thursday at Wichita State University for a public forum, the second one this week.

The forum began with a look at the state's projected $350 million budget shortfall for this fiscal year.

J.G. Scott, assistant director of fiscal affairs for the Kansas Legislative Research Department, told lawmakers that neither reversing the state's income tax exemptions nor increasing sales tax rates would fill the hole for 2017.

He gave two options for balancing the budget.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers have some major issues to tackle in the next legislative session, and one of their top challenges will be writing a new school funding formula.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW/File photo

After winning a seat in the state Senate in the general election, Democrat Lynn Rogers says he will continue to serve on the Board of Education for Wichita Public Schools.

State law allows those elected to state office to continue serving on local school boards. In 2000 former Wichita school board member Jean Schodorf chose to keep her seat on the board when she was elected to the Kansas Senate. Her school board term expired in June 2001.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers already know they’ll have some big issues on their plate during the next legislative session, which kicks off in January. There’s also uncertainty clouding the issues.

As Stephen Koranda reports, the Kansas Supreme Court heard arguments in a school funding lawsuit this fall, but justices haven’t yet handed down a decision.

Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce

The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce has established an education task force that the group says will give businesses a stronger voice on Kansas education issues.

The task force is made up of members of the chamber’s government relations committee and the Business and Education Alliance. Chamber president and CEO Gary Plummer says the group wants to work with legislators to have some input over the state’s K-12 and higher education funding decisions.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

In many districts across Kansas, tight budgets have put teachers and school boards at odds. School boards are hedging their bets about how generous the state funding will be next year. That very much depends on who wins seats in the Legislature.

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