Kansas Lawmakers Approve School Funding Plan

Jun 25, 2016

Late Friday, Kansas lawmakers passed a school funding bill they say will satisfy the state Supreme Court.
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Kansas lawmakers have approved a school funding plan that they say will end the risk of a legal fight closing Kansas schools. The bill is in response to a Supreme Court ruling that says the funding system was unfair to poorer school districts.

Democratic Sen. Anthony Hensley joined a large bipartisan majority Friday night that supported the bill.

“Regardless of who came up with the plan, what matters is that what we did today was put the children of Kansas first. This is a responsible plan that solves the problem,” said Hensley.

An original proposal cut general school aid and used that money to reduce property tax disparities. A group of lawmakers, including Republican Rep. Melissa Rooker, pushed Republican leaders to eliminate the cut to schools.

“The main thing is we protected the classroom, which was the key. The sources of funding are never easy, which ever direction we’re going at this point. I do like that fact that we’ve found a compromise,” said Rooker.

Instead of cutting school aid, the bill that passed will collect money from the sale of the Kansas Bioscience Authority as well as other places in the budget.

Gov. Sam Brownback says he will sign the bill.