school funding

Stephen Koranda

Two Republican lawmakers are suggesting that the Kansas Legislature turn the job of determining how state aid to public schools is distributed over to the State Board of Education.

Reps. Gene Suellentrop of Wichita and Marvin Kleeb of Overland Park raised the idea during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on a school funding plan from the panel's chairman.

The 10-member board would then face the burden of making sure the money is distributed fairly.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas lawmakers will start work this week on a response to a school funding ruling from the Kansas Supreme Court. The decision says there are disparities between school districts and if they aren't fixed by this summer the court could close Kansas schools.

There are plans in both the House and Senate to comply with the ruling, but as KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the proposals could cost some districts money.

J. Stephen Conn, flickr Creative Commons

A Kansas Senate committee has advanced a bill that would expand the grounds for impeaching a state Supreme Court justice.

The bill says justices could be impeached for trying to exercise powers given to the governor or Legislature. Republican Sen. Forrest Knox says checks and balances in government are important.

"We have arrived at a point today in this country, in this state, where specifically Supreme Court justices have become kings, where there is no check," Knox says.

Jim McClean / Heartland Health Monitor

The chairman of a Senate committee abruptly canceled a hearing today on a bill that would have changed the agency responsible for distributing school funding.

The bill would have moved the authority to distribute education money from the Department of Education to the Department of Administration, which is one of the governor’s cabinet agencies.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas lawmakers are continuing work on a bill that would allow the state to deny financial assistance for some school district building projects. The legislation says a state panel should review school district construction projects and only award state aid for buildings directly related to student instruction.

The latest proposal would deny Kansas tax dollars for athletic facilities. Republican Rep. Ron Highland offered the plan. He says if a school district wants an Olympic swimming pool, local taxpayers should pay for it.

Christopher Sessums / flickr Creative Commons

Kansas lawmakers have approved a budget bill that balances on paper. But as Jim McLean reports from the Statehouse, it doesn’t yet include the money the Kansas Supreme Court says needs to be added for public schools.

The budget bill on its way to Gov. Sam Brownback uses a variety of transfers and accounting maneuvers to cover anticipated spending for the rest of the current budget year and the next one, which starts on July 1.

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.

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