Topeka — The Kansas House rejected a school finance bill that would have restored equalization funding for poor districts, but also would have repealed teacher tenure and would have provided indirect public funding for private and parochial schools.
The final vote in the House, just before 1 a.m., was 55-67.
All four House members from Douglas County voted against the bill, including House Democratic Leader Paul Davis, who is running for governor against incumbent Republican Sam Brownback.
No Democrats voted in favor of the bill, and about 36 Republicans voted no, including some conservatives who objected to the spending increase.
In the spectator gallery above the House chamber, and in the hallways outside, dozens of teachers wearing red t-shirts sat and listened nervously during the lengthy debate that began around 10:30 p.m. They had been in Topeka to attend an annual meeting of the Kansas National Education Association and were drawn to the statehouse for the debate over teacher tenure.
After the vote, the House stood at ease while GOP leaders met in Speaker Ray Merrick's office to discuss about their next move.