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Archive for Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kansas legislators resume budget negotiations

February 23, 2011

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— Kansas legislators have resumed negotiations over cutting the current state budget.

Three senators and three House members met briefly Tuesday to discuss funding for special education programs in public schools.

That’s a key issue as lawmakers try to finish work on a bill revising the budget for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

Gov. Sam Brownback wants the state to begin the new fiscal year July 1 with about $35 million in cash reserves, and House members agreed.

The Senate’s figure for reserves was less than $4 million because its members boosted special education funding. State officials now agree the extra $26 million is required by federal law.

House negotiators proposed Tuesday to divert money from schools’ base state aid to cover special education. Senate negotiators were considering the proposal.

Comments

notanota 3 years, 6 months ago

Thank goodness. What's not made clear by this article but should be is that if that money were cut from the budget this year, the federal matching funds get taken away permanently. This isn't a matter of "We'll replace the money when we see better times." This is a matter of "We will start out every year from now forward $26-$60 million in the hole." Don't think this only affects you if you have a special needs child, either. That money is still required by law, whether we get matching funds or not, so if you value your neighborhood school at all - or what's left of it, let the House know how you feel on this one. The reps to notify are:

Chair Rep. Marc Rhoades Vice Chair Rep. Kasha Kelley Ranking Minority Member Rep. Bill Feuerborn

And if you're a Libertarian that just wants to defund schools and probably doesn't even live in the area, you'll probably get your wish. Congrats.

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