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Archive for Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Kansas state school funding falling short of legislators’ plan

December 11, 2013

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— Public schools will have less money per student than the Legislature intended when making the recent state budget, unless Gov. Sam Brownback and legislators provide more money when the 2014 legislative session starts next month.

That's because the statewide property tax has produced less than expected and there are more students enrolled than expected, especially at-risk students, who require more funding.

For those reasons, new fiscal estimates show, the state doesn't have enough money to fund schools at the level set in the state budget.

When legislators left earlier this year, the budget set the school finance formula at $3,838 in base state aid per pupil in the current fiscal year, and $3,852 per pupil in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, 2014.

But a new estimate by the state shows funding will fall $17.8 million short in the current fiscal year, and $19.9 million short in the next.

If the additional funding isn't provided, the base state aid will fall to $3,812 per student in the current year, and $3,823 in the next.

Asked about the funding issue Wednesday, Brownback's spokeswoman Sara Belfry said, "The governor is looking at this closely going into the next legislative session."

In addition to the new funding issue, a lawsuit before the Kansas Supreme Court could force the Legislature to approve more than $500 million a year in school funding.

A lower court panel has ruled that the state has unconstitutionally cut public school funding while passing tax cuts.

The state appealed, saying the Legislature should be in charge of school funding, not the courts. A decision in the case is expected soon.

Comments

Scut Farkus 4 months, 1 week ago

The Republican agenda is to de-fund education to the point that it is affordable only to the wealthy. Reduce taxes and let everyone pay their own way. The trouble is the tax reductions don't offset the cost to residents, although the wealthy and big business do quite well.

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Paul R Getto 4 months, 1 week ago

The courts just might shut down the system for being unconstitutional. If they do, watch for Sam and his masters to try and set up a competing, private system. Could get interesting now.

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Dick Sengpiehl 4 months, 1 week ago

This was entirely predictable. Kansans are in for a world of hurt as long as Gov Brownback is in office as well as his right wing cohorts in the state legislature. One can only hope that enough Kansans will finally come to the realization that they have been voting against their own best interests.

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Richard Heckler 4 months, 1 week ago

Sam ALEC Brownback and his bandits hard at work……

Yep Sam ALEC Brownback law makers are in real life law breakers.

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Brett McCabe 4 months, 1 week ago

Those darn high-risk students keep screwing up the budget plans. It really sucks when kids get in the way of a balanced budget.

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