Public Schools
3:29 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

Kansas Democrats Unveil School Funding Plan

Democrats in the Kansas Legislature have unveiled a school funding plan as an alternative to the one introduced by Governor Sam Brownback.

The Democratic plan would increase school funding with the goal of restoring some of the cuts made in recent years. It would also provide about $45 million to help reduce local property taxes.

Representative Paul Davis of Lawrence is the top Democrat in the House. He says budget cuts to education in recent years have had a significant impact on schools.

"Kansas schools have reached a level of funding that has resulted in higher fees for parents, higher class sizes for students, higher property taxes for homeowners and a lower quality of education for our children," Davis said.

The Democratic proposal would increase education spending by $180 million over the next three years.

Anthony Hensley, of Topeka, is the top Democrat in the Senate. Speaking before a group of elementary school students, Hensley said the funding would come from tax collections that have risen above estimates in recent months.

"We believe that excess state revenues should first be utilized to restore public school cuts that have gone way too far over the last couple of years," Hensley said.

The state is expected to end the fiscal year with around $350 million in the bank.