School finance

Rural district’s sacrifice illustrates depth of Kansas schools’ budget woes
May 14, 2015
Mike Sanders, superintendent of the Skyline school district in Pratt County, resigned his $81,000 a year job this week, saying that would prevent the district from having to cut more staff. Sanders said rising costs and the lack of state funding are forcing the district of 421 students to make difficult choices. By Peter Hancock
School funding lawsuit could set stage for constitutional showdown
May 10, 2015
Sometime in the next few weeks, or perhaps months, three judges will issue a ruling that could set the stage for constitutional showdown between the Kansas Legislature and the judiciary.
Kansas GOP touts school funding law; districts look to cut
May 9, 2015
Public school districts across Kansas are cutting programs, shedding jobs, ending the school year early and blaming it on the state’s new school funding law, even as the conservatives who advocated it tout the changes as a generous step forward for education.
Gov. Brownback, Kansas legislators give 5 school districts more funding
02:26 p.m., May 5, 2015 Updated 05:48 p.m.
Gov. Sam Brownback and legislative leaders agreed Tuesday to give roughly half a million dollars in additional funding to five school districts hit hard by recent policy changes and unforeseen expenses.
Lawrence school district expects to repay $672,000 in state aid
05:56 p.m., April 6, 2015 Updated 10:06 p.m.
The Lawrence school district has already received more state aid for its capital outlay and local option budgets than it’s entitled to receive under the new “block grant” school funding bill. Superintendent Rick Doll says that will result in a hiring freeze for classified employees this year and possibly fewer teachers in classrooms next year. By Peter Hancock
Plaintiffs seek to block new Kansas school funding plan
01:31 p.m., March 26, 2015 Updated 10:52 p.m.
Plaintiffs in an ongoing school finance case asked a three-judge panel in Topeka on Thursday to block implementation of a new school funding plan that Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law Wednesday. By Peter Hancock
New school finance plan draws guarded support
05:19 p.m., March 24, 2015 Updated 09:57 p.m.
A bill that would phase in a new kind of school finance formula over the next three years drew guarded support from some school districts and surprising interest from some education groups during a legislative committee hearing Tuesday. By Peter Hancock
Senate committee to hear proposal for new school finance formula
05:59 p.m., March 23, 2015 Updated 10:51 p.m.
Senate Education Committee Chairman Steve Abrams, R-Arkansas City, has introduced a new school finance formula that would return the state to a per-pupil funding system, but would significantly change the kinds of weightings used to provide additional money for higher-cost students and districts. The panel will hold a hearing on the bill Tuesday. By Peter Hancock
Recent Kansas school finance actions raise several constitutional questions
07:07 p.m., March 18, 2015 Updated 10:00 p.m.
A Kansas University law professor says recent actions by the Kansas Legislature and a district court raise numerous constitutional questions. Professor Rick Levy said the result could be another showdown between the legislative and executive branches over who decides how much funding schools should get. By Peter Hancock
Supreme Court asked again to review school finance ruling
02:53 p.m., March 17, 2015 Updated 10:17 p.m.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is again asking the state Supreme Court to review a three-judge district court panel’s decision that held current funding of public schools unconstitutional. The appeal comes one day after the Legislature passed a bill repealing the current funding formula and replacing it with a system of block grants to schools. By Peter Hancock
Lawmaker suggests school finance case could affect judicial budget
03:04 p.m., March 16, 2015 Updated 10:23 p.m.
Rep. Jerry Lunn, R-Overland Park, said during a committee hearing that the budget for state courts could be cut if the courts order the Legislature to spend more money on public schools. By Peter Hancock
Kansas Senate to decide path on school finance overhaul
07:42 p.m., March 15, 2015 Updated 01:19 p.m.
The Kansas Senate is expected to decide Monday how it wants to deal with a bill overhauling the state’s school finance system. Senators could simply vote to concur with the House bill, which would cut off the possibility for any amendments. But a three-judge district court panel has already indicated it could step in to block the legislation. By Peter Hancock
Kansas House narrowly passes Gov. Brownback’s school funding overhaul
10:20 a.m., March 13, 2015 Updated 08:52 p.m.
The Kansas House gave final passage Friday to a bill that radically overhauls the way schools are funded in Kansas, but it took more than two hours — and a special flight on a state plane — to corral all the legislators needed to send the bill to the Senate. By Peter Hancock
Kansas House panel approves GOP leaders’ school funding plan; bill now goes to full House
01:16 p.m., March 10, 2015 Updated 10:39 p.m.
The House Appropriations Committee advanced a bill Tuesday that repeals the 1992 school finance formula and replaces it for two years with block grants to the state’s 286 school districts. Democrats and moderate Republicans are objecting to efforts by GOP leaders to rush the bill to passage. And leaders still are not certain if it has enough support to pass. By Peter Hancock
Kansas Supreme Court deciding whether to take school finance appeal
March 3, 2015
A three-judge district court panel has postponed a hearing in the school finance lawsuit while the Kansas Supreme Court decides whether to take up an immediate appeal in the case. Meanwhile, the Shawnee Mission school district has filed a motion to intervene in the case. By Peter Hancock

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