Gov. Sam Brownback met with education officials and some top Republican lawmakers Monday to discuss school finance. The gathering comes as the Kansas Supreme Court considers a lawsuit over education spending and lawmakers prepare for the 2014 legislative session.
Brownback says the closed-door meeting was aimed at bringing together his office, education officials that represent local districts and lawmakers. He says those groups have not always seen eye-to-eye on the issue of education funding, leading to lawsuits.
“The education system in Kansas is very split, and it has generally been one that’s been more fighting with each other than discussing with each other," said Brownback. "So the objective here is to get a discussion going and moving things out of the courts and into discussion.”
Frank Henderson, president of the Kansas Association of School Boards, agrees that the meeting was a good starting point.
“We certainly have the same purpose in mind, and that is to have an outcome of students that are prepared for college and careers,” said Henderson.
Some Democrats are concerned because no members of their party were invited. Brownback says his office is in the process of planning a follow-up meeting.