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Archive for Saturday, March 8, 2014

Higher ed funding increase, all-day kindergarten may be in jeopardy in light of school finance decision

March 8, 2014

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— A legislative fix to inequities in school funding could negate proposals to increase funding to higher education and all-day kindergarten, Republican legislative leaders say.

"Everything is going to have to be looked at," said Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson.

Last week, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in a long-running school finance case that Kansas' school funding is unconstitutional and ordered legislators to equitably fund statutes that help poor school districts.

When the 2014 legislative session started in January, Gov. Sam Brownback proposed providing state funding to pay for all-day kindergarten. The state currently pays for half-day.

And Brownback proposed restoring some of the cuts to higher education, including Kansas University, that he signed into law last year.

But now a new funding need has arisen. Meeting the court's directive to help poor districts could cost up to $129 million annually, although Republican leaders said there is no specific amount required as they start to craft a state budget.

"It's a political solution as to how you craft the legislation to get adequate votes," Bruce said.

When the decision came down, KNEA President Karen Godfrey called on legislative cooperation for schoolchildren, but predicted political maneuvering. "We don’t need threats to cut funding to vital social services, rob retirement pensions, and cut aid to higher education." Godfrey said.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, said he believes nothing has to be shortchanged to meet the court's order to equalize the certain funds for public schools.

"If we have to equalize the local option budgets and capital outlay, then the question is where is that money going to come from, and, quite frankly, it very well could come from existing resources," Hensley said.

That would mean lowering the state's ending balance figure for the fiscal year, which is something the Legislature has done frequently.

Comments

Richard Heckler 9 months, 3 weeks ago

" A legislative fix to inequities in school funding could negate proposals to increase funding to higher education and all-day kindergarten, Republican legislative leaders say."

"increase funding to higher education and all-day kindergarten" has never been a done deal since day one that political rhetoric was put on the table. It is nothing but election year rhetoric.

The majority of republicans have had nearly four years to fund education across the board as it should have been. Instead they stonewall and throw OUR TAX DOLLARS at corporate special interests, nonsense voter ID crap and killing women's rights.

Richard Heckler 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Not one real republican,not one democrat,not one woman,not one Green Party thinker,not one true fiscal conservative and not one voter can afford the ALEC Rt Wing Anti Women Libertarian Neocon Fundamentalist Tea Party backed by ALEC Fascist Economic Terrorism.

James Howlette 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The legislature is doing exactly what they threatened to do and what they've always wanted to do and cutting all day kindergarten and higher ed funding? Shocking!

Larry Sturm 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Stealing from the poor and middle class and giving tax cuts to the rich=no funding for schools of any kind. Back before Ragan and his deregulation corporations and all taxpayers paid their fair share of taxes. America was prosperous Back when Eisenhower was president the interstate highway system was built without any national debt. BROWNBACK AND THE REPUBLICAN CONGRESS IS BAD FOR KANSAS.

William Weissbeck 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The GOP's plan pretty much boils down to this - "we have $3 to spend, and no more. Whoever wants it or needs it must do our bidding. And campaign contributions are greatly appreciated. And we will pit one group against another, calling it class warfare, generation wealth re-distribution, and the middle-class having to subsidize the lazy."

Richard Heckler 9 months, 3 weeks ago

A typical anti american ALEC political campaign will be loaded with dishonest sound bites aka lies about candidates as we near November. Lots of money will be spent on character assassinations and little to nothing on the issues before us.

It is known as distract the voters as much as possible concerning the right wing mismanagement of government as Sam and the gang swindle taxpayers to support the personal agendas of ALEC.

While ALEC is removing real republicans from the GOP an organization known as Third Way is eliminating democrats from the demo party. Third Way is largely supported with Wal-Mart dollars by way of the Walton children.

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