school funding

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Republicans in the Kansas House couldn’t win enough votes Monday to increase school funding by hundreds of millions of dollars. Conservatives in their own party thought it was too much money; Democrats said it was too little.

A report meant to guide Kansas school spending appears to have overshot the mark by more than half a billion dollars.

Kansas Health Institute/File photo

An independent reviewer is backing the validity of a study that found improving Kansas' public schools could cost an additional $2 billion a year.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the Legislature hired Jesse Levin, of the American Institutes for Research, to conduct a peer review of the recent cost study. He told lawmakers Thursday that the study was "fairly cutting-edge and done very, very well."

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Gov. Jeff Colyer won't directly endorse a bill from House Republicans that would boost funding for Kansas schools by $500 million, but he said it meets guidelines he set out.

Republicans in the Kansas House have unveiled a school funding proposal to send an added half billion dollars to local districts in the next five years. A committee advanced the plan Wednesday night to the full House for consideration.

Alex Starr / flickr Creative Commons

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley has chastised his colleagues for failing to make progress on a school finance plan.

He urged them Tuesday to come to grips with reality.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that during the debate lawmakers said they were interested in negotiating with school attorneys. They also expressed frustration with the Kansas Supreme Court.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service, File Photo

A report commissioned by the Kansas Legislature made clear just how much it might cost to improve student outcomes at public schools.

It’s so expensive, says a new lobbying group, that it threatens the quality of Kansas roads, health care and other government functions.

The group wants to amend the state constitution, freeing lawmakers to dodge steep hikes in school spending. External experts argue that added money would be needed to fulfill promises to graduate high school students better prepared for college or the workplace.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Now that Republican leaders have a report they commissioned on school funding, it’s not clear they’ll pursue its recommendations to spend more for better student performance.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Getting most Kansas schoolchildren doing well enough in math and reading to stay on track for college could cost an extra $2 billion a year — or roughly half of what the state already spends on aid to local schools.

The figure comes from a report released Friday that lawmakers commissioned to help them judge the costs of getting better classroom results and to comply with a Kansas Supreme Court order.

Derek Gavey / flickr Creative Commons

Kansas lawmakers are looking for ways to come up with cash to respond to a court ruling that says the state needs to spend more on schools. Currently, the House Tax Committee is considering a plan to raise property taxes.

The proposal would boost property taxes over three years, topping out with a $659 million increase. The plan met urban and rural opposition in a hearing on Tuesday. Realtors said the tax hike would make it harder to buy a home. It would also hit farmers by raising taxes on their land.

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