school funding

Stephen Koranda, File Photo

Republican lawmakers in Kansas have earmarked $50,000 for the Legislature to hire its own attorneys on school finance issues, leading Democrats to speculate Wednesday that GOP leaders plan to defy a recent state Supreme Court order on education funding.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

An efficiency study says the state of Kansas could save money by requiring school districts to spend down their cash reserves. That’s an idea some conservatives have been pushing in past years as a way to save money.

Christopher Sessums, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas lawmakers will be working to determine how to respond to a court ruling over school funding.

The Kansas Supreme Court says lawmakers haven’t done enough to reduce funding disparities between school districts. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the justices say lawmakers have to fix it by the end of June.

Stephen Koranda

The Kansas House and Senate both approved budget plans this week, but neither one takes into account a court ruling on school funding. The Kansas Supreme Court said this week that Kansas hasn’t done enough to reduce funding disparities between districts.

Democratic Rep. John Carmichael argued the House shouldn’t have approved a budget that doesn’t deal with the financial implications of the ruling.

Abigail Wilson

    

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the state's new block grant funding law does not meet the requirement for funding schools equitably.

In the nearly unanimous ruling, Kansas Supreme Court justices say that the state Legislature should get another opportunity to create a constitutional funding system. If there is no acceptable remedy in place by June 30, "the schools in Kansas will be unable to operate."

Abigail Wilson

Wichita Public Schools could face up to $27 million in cost increases for the 2017 fiscal year. The district’s top financial official discussed the number on Tuesday to provide a first look at the challenges ahead with no increase in state funding in the foreseeable future.

USD 259’s budget is essentially the same as it was last year, but with high amounts of projected cost increases, the district’s CFO Jim Freeman says adjustments will have to be made.

Stephen Koranda

Kansas lawmakers will kick off the 2016 legislative session later today. They could consider some big issues like taxes and school finance, but they could also put off work on those topics until after the election.

Christopher Sessums, flickr Creative Commons

A Kansas legislative committee has delayed work on a report that recommends ways to overhaul public schools. The committee is supposed to review K-12 education and make recommendations the Legislature can use when writing a new school funding formula.

Republican state Rep. Ron Ryckman moved to delay work on the final report. He says that will give legislative staffers a chance to review the document and identify where individual suggestions are coming from.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / KPR

The Kansas Legislature is getting ready to go back to work next week and the agenda is packed.

At issue is school funding and the how the Kansas Supreme Court will respond to a lawsuit brought by four school districts. The court will decide whether the state is spending enough per pupil. Also the block grant funding of the schools is set to expire in 2017, and other methods of distributing state aid to schools will certainly come up.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File Photo

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback says he and many Kansas legislators won't be ready to consider big increases in aid to public schools until they are confident that enough of the money already spent on education is finding its way into the classroom.

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