education funding

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/File photo

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.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Legislators in Kansas have some big issues on their plate next year. As Stephen Koranda reports, they’re already planning on a long session.

Kansas lawmakers already know they’ll have to balance the state budget. Add into that the huge issue of writing a new school funding formula.

But that’s not all: The Kansas Supreme Court could issue a ruling that says the state has to increase funding for schools by hundreds of millions of dollars, which would further complicate everything.

Abigail Beckman / KMUW/File photo

After months of contention, the local teachers' union and the USD 259 school board have come to a tentative contract agreement for the 2016-17 school year.

The contract contains a compensation package increasing the board of educations monetary contribution by 3.98 percent. Details of the tentative agreement include:

J. Schafer / KPR/File photo

You couldn't have gotten a more different picture of school finance and student success in Kansas than what was heard during two hours of oral arguments Wednesday in the state Supreme Court.

J. Stephen Conn / flickr Creative Commons

A majority of the Kansas Supreme Court's justices were openly skeptical Wednesday of the cash-strapped state's arguments that legislators are spending enough money on public schools to provide a suitable education to every child.

But Justice Dan Biles also suggested that if the court concludes that inadequate funding has allowed some children to fall behind, its order might have to be targeted to helping just them allowing the state to potentially shift funds from programs for gifted students.

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