school funding

alamosbasement / flickr Creative Commons

Former Kansas lawmaker Jim Barnett, who hopes to be the next governor, called Thursday for another $600 million in public school funding.

Kansas legislative leaders plan to spend $400,000 to get help in drafting a new public school funding law, including separate lawyers for the House and Senate.

The five top Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature agreed on the plan Tuesday. The two Democrats present at legislative leaders' meeting called it a waste of money and opposed it.

The House and Senate each would spend $100,000 to hire its own attorney. The entire Legislature has had a single attorney previously.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Updated at 9:22 a.m. Tuesday

Kansas lawmakers soon will start work to determine their response to a ruling by the state’s Supreme Court that found K-12 public school funding unconstitutional.

Kansas News Service/File photo

The top Democrats in the Kansas Legislature are calling on Senate President Susan Wagle not to wait until January to start work on fulfilling a Kansas Supreme Court order to fix funding for public schools.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, of Topeka, and his counterpart in the House, Jim Ward of Wichita, wrote a letter to Wagle, who heads the Legislative Coordinating Council, seeking an interim bipartisan panel of House and Senate members.

Orlin Wagner / AP

Last week the state lost again at the Kansas Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled that Kansas is underfunding its public schools, with repercussions for academically struggling children across the state — and especially for students and taxpayers who live in resource-poor school districts. 

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Wichita Public Schools officials say the Kansas Supreme Court ruling on Monday, which finds that the state’s school funding formula is unconstitutional, is a “positive thing for Kansas kids.”

Orlin Wagner / AP

Updated Oct. 3 at 10:05 a.m.

The Kansas Supreme Court on Monday struck down the state’s aid to schools as unconstitutionally low — and unfair to poor school districts in particular. The decision could pressure lawmakers to increase school funding by hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Sam Zeff / KCUR

Despite the ongoing fight over how much Kansas should spend on schools, the Legislature did at least one thing this year that almost all educators were pleased with: For the first time, it included all-day kindergarten in the school funding formula.

That means districts no longer have to use money from other parts of their budgets or charge parents for all-day K.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Kansas is setting aspirations for much higher math and reading competency among the class of 2030 — today’s kindergartners — in a long-term accountability plan for its public schools.

Kansas officials submitted the accountability blueprint Tuesday to the U.S. Department of Education. It does not include language promoting controversial school choice concepts that Gov. Sam Brownback’s office advocated for, according to staff at the state education department.

Alberto G. / flickr Creative Commons

The results of the state's latest ACT test show the number of Kansas students who are college-ready is on the decline.

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