education funding

Education
7:30 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Education Advocates Walk 60 Miles To Kansas Statehouse

Supporters of the walk gather in the Kansas Statehouse.
Credit Stephen Koranda

Education advocates wrapped up a 60-mile walk on Monday at the Kansas Statehouse.

Eleven people completed the trek from the Kansas City are to Topeka to focus attention on public school funding.

Lauren Van Wagoner from Hoyt says she made the trip because she has a six-year-old daughter with autism.

“Since my daughter’s in special education, I often see how thin those resources are for those kids, and I’m concerned those resources are going to continue to get thinner,” says Van Wagoner.

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Government
11:25 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Kansas Representative Uses State Plane To Vote On School Finance Bill

State Representative Virgil Peck
Credit www.kslegislature.org

Representative Virgil Peck of Montgomery County used a state plane to fly from Coffeyville to Topeka and back to vote on the school finance bill.

Peck was the only passenger on the plane from Coffeyville to Topeka on March 13th. He flew to Topeka so he could vote on implementing block grant funding for the state's schools.

Peck went home March 12 to attend events in Coffeyville and Independence with Governor Sam Brownback.

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Education
12:35 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Brownback Signs School Funding Overhaul Into Law

Credit alamosbasement, flickr Creative Commons

Republican Governor Sam Brownback has signed a $4.1 billion plan to overhaul Kansas' school funding system.

The governor signed the bill into law Wednesday during a private ceremony in the presence of GOP leaders.

It scraps the current formula for determining state aid and replaces it with "block grants" to school districts based on their current aid. The grant system will be in place for two years while the Legislature develops a new formula.

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Education
6:57 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Kansas Senate Passes Bill Scrapping School Funding System

Senate President Susan Wagle speaks during debate on the bill.
Credit Stephen Koranda

A bill that scraps the school funding system in Kansas has passed out of the Legislature and is heading to the governor’s desk for consideration.

The Senate voted 25-14 to concur with a bill that had previously passed the Kansas House. As Stephen Koranda reports, it would temporarily create a block grant system while lawmakers write a new funding formula.

Supporters of the bill say it has $300 million in new funding and gives Kansas schools more flexibility.

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Education
4:49 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

KS House Abandons Reconsideration Of Block Grants Bill

Credit Stephen Koranda

Last week, House lawmakers narrowly passed a controversial bill that would scrap the current school funding system in Kansas and replace it with block grants. Some opponents of that plan had been hoping for a do-over on the vote, but as Stephen Koranda reports, the chamber’s rules shut down that possibility.

Some critics of the bill had hinted they would try to reconsider the funding formula vote on Monday. That would give them a second crack at the issue. But it became clear the chamber’s rules would block the move, so the idea was abandoned.

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Government
12:52 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

KS Senate Could Vote on Block Grants Bill Monday

Credit Stephen Koranda

A bill that would replace the school funding formula in Kansas with block grants has been speeding through the legislative process. It could stay on the fast track this week and could be on the governor’s desk in mere days.

The bill passed the House on a tight vote just over a week after it was introduced. Republican Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce says the Senate could move to simply agree to the House bill as soon as Monday. That would skip sending the bill through the normal committee process in the Senate, but Bruce says a motion to concur isn’t out of the ordinary.

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Education
1:47 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Kansas House Committee Advances Block Grant Bill

Ron Ryckman Jr. speaks to reporters after the committee advanced the bill.
Credit Stephen Koranda

Lawmakers in the Kansas Legislature are fast-tracking a major overhaul of the state’s school funding system. The bill would toss out the current finance formula and replace it with a series of block grants, which would last for two years as lawmakers write a new funding formula. As Stephen Koranda reports, the bill has been approved by a committee and is now headed to the full Kansas House.

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Education
1:19 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

UPDATE: Kansas House Panel Approves GOP Leaders' School Funding Plan

Credit Paradox 56, flickr Creative Commons

Updated Story:

A Kansas House committee has approved a plan from top Republican lawmakers to overhaul how the state distributes aid to public schools.

The House Appropriations Committee's voice vote Tuesday sends the plan to the full House for a debate that could occur later this week.

The committee voted despite bipartisan criticism that it is moving too quickly. GOP leaders unveiled the plan only last week.

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Education
11:24 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Report: New Proposal Cuts Money For Poorest School Districts, Protects Wealthiest

Credit Larry Darling, flickr Creative Commons

A proposal for changing how Kansas public schools are funded appears to cut money from most of the state's poorest school districts while protecting the wealthiest.

The Topeka Capital-Journal examined the effect of a Republican plan to replace the state's existing per-student formula for distributing its money to 286 school districts, which is currently designed to ensure that poor districts don't fall behind wealthy ones.

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Government
1:20 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Kansas Lawmakers Waiting For Analysis Of GOP Schools Plan

Credit Rupert Ganzer, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas legislators are waiting for a detailed analysis of how a plan from Republican leaders to overhaul education funding would affect individual school districts.

The Kansas Department of Education was expected to release the analysis Friday. The department regularly reviews school finance legislation and analyzes its effects.

The GOP plan was outlined Thursday and would replace the state's existing per-student formula for distributing its aid to 286 school districts.

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