School Funding

Stephen Koranda

Kansas Senators have approved a plan for funding K-12 schools. The 23-14 vote sends the bill to the House for consideration.

The proposal would increase spending by around $230 million over two years, after the state Supreme Court ruled in March that Kansas schools are inadequately funded.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning helped draft the plan and believes it will satisfy the justices.

Kansas News Service

Updated Wednesday at 11:54 a.m. 

After 10 hours of debate, a dozen amendments and a timeout to talk taxes, the Kansas Senate early Wednesday advanced a school finance plan, which they approved in a final vote of 23-16 later the same morning.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Following a four-day Memorial Day holiday, Kansas lawmakers get back to work on Tuesday.

Senators will take up a school finance bill with a funding formula that looks a lot like what the House passed – with weightings for things like at-risk kids and English language learners.

The big difference is the dollar figure: The House bill would add $279 million in new money for schools over two years.

The Senate version passed out of committee last week calls for less: $240 million.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File Photo

Lawmakers return to the Kansas Statehouse Tuesday with the hopes of quickly wrapping up a legislative session that’s already into overtime. Leaders want to end the session this week, but they have significant issues to tackle such as balancing the budget.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

House lawmakers have passed a new spending plan for Kansas schools, on a vote of 84-39. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

The Kansas House debated a new school finance plan for five hours Wednesday, taking up two dozen amendments and finally voting 81-40 to advance a bill not much different from the one that had come out of committee. The measure is slated to get a final vote in the House Thursday. Then it will be the Senate’s turn.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Members of the Kansas House are debating a new plan to fund the state’s schools. The bill would add $280 million more in school funding over two years. House members rejected a Democratic proposal that would have added $600 million for schools over three years. Supporters said adding more money could help satisfy the state Supreme Court's order to adequately fund education. Critics of the idea said it would require a huge tax increase or spending cuts to other services. Republican Majority Leader Don Hineman opposed the plan.

alamosbasement / flickr Creative Commons

As Kansas lawmakers try to hammer out a new school funding plan, one state senator says she has a way to save money: Stop educating kids from other states.

Most don’t know it, but this year Kansas is paying to educate 624 students from bordering states.

The state Department of Education estimates that costs Kansas taxpayers about $3.5 million a year.

Sen. Molly Baumgardner, a Republican from Louisburg, says Kansans shouldn’t be paying for this.

J. Schafer / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Kansas Lawmakers aren’t yet in record territory, but they’re facing challenges that could make the 2017 session among the longest ever.

Lawmakers must close a budget gap that now stands just south of $1 billion -- and increase funding for public schools by enough to get them off the hook with the Kansas Supreme Court.

Big challenges, but particularly tough now for a couple of reasons: First is the mismatch between conservative Republican leaders and a majority coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas legislative leaders working on a plan to end the 2017 session have what amounts to a chicken-and-egg dilemma.

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