School Funding

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Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is calling on the state Supreme Court to move quickly and sign off on a new formula for funding K-12 schools. On Monday, the court will set a calendar of hearings.

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Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday signed into law the state’s new school funding formula, which increases aid to schools by $284 million within two years.

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Now that the veto session is over, Kansas House Minority Leader Jim Ward says he believes lawmakers will head back to Topeka for a special session to discuss a constitutionally acceptable school funding formula.

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A school finance bill headed to Gov. Sam Brownback’s desk would expand a program that funds private school tuition through tax credits.

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School districts across Kansas are breathing a bit easier after the Legislature passed a school funding plan and a tax law that provides the money for it.

Sam Zeff / Kansas News Service

A school finance plan that will add nearly $300 million over two years gained approval Monday night in the Kansas Legislature and now moves to Gov. Sam Brownback for consideration.

Lawmakers faced a June 30 deadline to increase school funding after a March ruling from the Kansas Supreme Court that said current funding is inadequate. During debate, some lawmakers raised concerns that the $300 million plan will not satisfy the court and could make a special session likely.

Kansas News Service/File photo

On Day 108 of the Kansas Legislature’s session, lawmakers got down to business. They passed a school funding bill that adds nearly $300 million over two years for public education, then they approved a $1.2 billion tax plan.

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Members of the Kansas House have rejected a bill that combined a new school funding system and a tax increase.

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Updated 4:45 p.m. Monday: House lawmakers rejected the bill in a 91-32 vote

Kansas lawmakers are set to debate a new tax proposal that combines school funding and revenue increases into a single massive bill. They developed the plan while working this weekend, but delayed debate on the legislation until Monday.

Kansas News Service/File photo

The Senate’s potential new formula for funding Kansas schools is based on spending at 41 districts where — according to a recent statistical analysis — students are doing well academically relative to local poverty rates.

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