TOPEKA Gov. Kathleen Sebelius today told lawmakers to increase school funding, pay for it with expansion of gambling or face a possible special legislative session.
With a gambling bill dead in the Senate, and many lawmakers balking at larger increases for schools, the Legislature appeared deadlocked.
More about school finance
- Webcast of live arguments before the Kansas Supreme Court (requires Windows Media Player)
- Brief of the Montoy suit (.pdf)
- Timeline of events in school finance lawsuit
- 6News video: School finance bill to face court
- Plaintiffs: School finance bill fails grade (06-13-06)
- State wants high court to dismiss school suit (06-02-06)
- Legislature approves school finance plan (05-10-06)
- Chat with Bob Corkins, Kansas Education Commissioner (02-02-06)
- House roll call on $148.4 million school finance plan (07-07-05)
- Supt. Weseman's contingency plan (07-06-05)
- More about school finance »
- Conference Committee on Senate Bill 549
- House bill info
- Senate bill info
- Kansas public schools cost study
- Kansas public schools cost study executive summary
- Public Education Finances 2004 (.pdf)
- Senate roll call on $148.4 million school finance plan
- Supreme Court's Show Cause Order (07-02-05)
- Supreme Court's Order Denying Extension (.pdf)
- Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 1603 (.pdf)
- Supplemental Note on Resolution No. 1603 (.pdf)
"Passing an inadequate school finance plan is the fastest way to guarantee another special session," Sebelius said.
Last year, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled the school finance system unconstitutional because it shortchanged all students, especially minorities. The ruling forced a special session and led to a $290 million, or 10 percent increase in school funding.
The court also told the state to do a cost study on the actual costs of education. That cost study has called for another $400 million increase.
Sebelius and legislative leaders have endorsed plans that follow the cost study's guidelines but phase in the increase over three years.
But some lawmakers are calling for a one-year plan from between $165 million and $185 million.
Sebelius said that one-year proprosals would fall short of what the court wants.
She called on legislators to increase their efforts and try to have school finance proposals ready before they take a break in two weeks.