education funding

Alex Starr, flickr Creative Commons

The back-and-forth discussion about school funding in the state of Kansas has been, without a doubt, confusing. Last week, Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill that lawmakers hope will fix a major problem in education financing. But how could that bill affect students in Wichita? And what does it mean for the future of education funding in Kansas?

Sam Zeff / KCUR

A new school funding formula for Kansas schools that would replace the current block grant scheme was filed just under the wire last month before lawmakers adjourned for a month-long recess.

Whether that bill passes or even gets a hearing is in question, but what's not in question is the concern educators and some legislators have about the 98-page bill.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / KPR

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has until April 8 to act on a school funding plan approved by legislators in hopes of satisfying a recent state Supreme Court order.

The Republican-dominated Legislature delivered the bill to the GOP governor's office Tuesday. The state constitution gives Brownback 10 days to review the measure.

Lawmakers approved the bill last week to give the Supreme Court adequate time to review it.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

The Kansas House and Senate approved a school funding plan before adjourning for their spring break. The votes send the bill to Governor Sam Brownback for consideration. The Kansas Supreme Court threatens to close Kansas schools if lawmakers don’t reduce funding inequalities.

The bill redistributes state money to reduce funding disparities between Kansas school districts. It makes sure no district loses overall state support, and some districts would get a boost. Legislative leaders believe the plan complies with the court and ensures stable budgets for schools.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas lawmakers are considering a new education funding plan that school districts are both praising and criticizing. The proposal shifts money between districts to reduce funding disparities. It also moves some money from another fund to make sure no district loses overall state support. Shawnee Mission School District Superintendent Jim Hinson appreciates that no districts would lose out.

“This bill allows us to have stability during very uncertain financial times, which is extremely important for us,” Hinson says.

Stephen Koranda

Committees in the Kansas House and Senate have advanced school funding plans designed to address a state Supreme Court order. The court told lawmakers to fix unconstitutional funding disparities between districts, or public schools would be closed this fall.

These new proposals redistribute funding and add a small amount of money to make sure no district loses overall state support.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas lawmakers have introduced a new school funding plan that tries to fund school districts more evenly without costing any of them money. Previous plans had redistributed money and left some districts with less overall funding.

Lawmakers are trying to find a way to reduce disparities between school districts following a Kansas Supreme Court ruling. The bill would redistribute state funding and tap an existing extraordinary needs fund. Republican Senator Ty Masterson says stakeholders made it clear that no district should lose money.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Budget cuts are looming at Wichita Public Schools with the board soon making recommendations for the next fiscal year. The district is facing an estimated $16 to 30 million cost increase.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

The Kansas Senate chose not to vote on a proposal that would have redistributed money among school districts to comply with a Supreme Court ruling. After a short debate on Monday, the chamber voted to send the bill back to committee for more work.

The Kansas Supreme Court says there are unconstitutional funding disparities between school districts. Justices say if the issue isn’t by this summer they could close schools.

The plan would have redistributed money, meaning many districts would end up losing funding.

Dan Skinner / Kansas Public Radio

An attorney hired by Kansas lawmakers questioned school officials and legislative staff on Monday to gather evidence for an ongoing school funding lawsuit.

Attorney Toby Crouse is compiling the information. The Kansas Supreme Court is considering if lawmakers are funding school districts equally and spending an adequate amount on education.

Lawmakers are considering a plan that would redistribute school aid to reduce disparities between districts.

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