Kansas Lawmakers Begin Debate on Proposed K-12 Budget Fix

Mar 28, 2016

Kansas state Sen. Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, left, asks questions during a Senate Ways and Means Committee hearing on a new school funding plan as Chairman Ty Masterson, R-Andover, watches Wednesday at the Statehouse in Topeka.Kansas state Sen. Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, left, asks questions during a Senate Ways and Means Committee hearing on a new school funding plan as Chairman Ty Masterson, R-Andover, watches Wednesday at the Statehouse in Topeka.
Credit John Hanna / AP photo

Kansas lawmakers have begun debate on a proposed solution to the state’s school funding crisis. The Kansas Supreme Court has determined that funding for schools in the Sunflower State is not equitable, noting that poor districts often get a raw deal. The court has ordered lawmakers to fix the problem, reports The Wichita Eagle. Debate started last week on a bill that would reshuffle K-12 money in a way supporters hope will meet the court’s order for more equitable funding.

However, many critics aren’t pleased with the bill. Only 23 school districts would see a gain in financing. In the rest of the state, funding will remain flat. Poor districts that had sued the state would have received more money under earlier proposals.

Critics say the bill falls far short of the court’s order to fix equity, contending that it only reshuffles funding that has already been ruled insufficient by the state Supreme Court.