School Finance

First look at Kansas school funding proposal may come as soon as Thursday
06:11 p.m., February 4, 2015 Updated 10:34 p.m.
It’s been three weeks since Gov. Sam Brownback announced during his State of the State address that he wants to repeal the school finance system and replace it with a system of “block grants” for the next two years while the Legislature develops a new funding formula. Since then, almost nothing has been heard about the details of what he or legislative leaders have in mind. But that’s likely to change by the end of this week. By Peter Hancock
Kansas attorney general asks court to clarify school finance ruling
January 23, 2015
Attorney General Derek Schmidt says the three-judge panel handling the school finance lawsuit didn’t explain what facts it relied on in its ruling that said current funding for schools is unconstitutional. He is asking the panel to revise its Dec. 30 opinion, which will delay any review by the Kansas Supreme Court. By Peter Hancock
Brownback budget cuts K-12 education, holds higher education funding flat
05:29 p.m., January 16, 2015 Updated 10:42 p.m.
Higher education officials feel relieved that Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget proposal does not call for cutting any of their funding. But K-12 schools would lose more than $100 million through a sweeping change in the funding system that threatens to complicate the ongoing school finance lawsuit. By Peter Hancock
Kansas education board elects new leadership
05:33 p.m., January 13, 2015 Updated 10:07 p.m.
The Kansas State Board of Education chose Wichita Republican Jim McNiece as its new chairman and Topeka Democrat Corolyn Campbell as vice-chair for the coming year. They will be in charge of steering the board through a tumultuous year that will include battles in the Legislature over school funding and the transition to a new system of accrediting schools. By Peter Hancock
Lawmakers convene amid budget crisis, school finance suit
04:40 p.m., January 12, 2015 Updated 10:10 p.m.
Kansas lawmakers began the 2015 session Monday facing a mounting budget deficit and a school finance lawsuit that could make the budget problems even worse. But legislative leaders appeared generally optimistic on the first day of what is scheduled to be a 90-day session. By Peter Hancock
Kansas lawmakers open session amid budget shortfalls
January 11, 2015
Kansas legislators open a critical annual session Monday that will require them to wade through massive budget shortfalls and deal with a court mandate to boost spending on public schools.
K-12 efficiency panel issues final report, recommends regular audits on ‘best practices’
03:59 p.m., January 6, 2015 Updated 10:02 p.m.
A task force appointed by the Kansas Legislature issued its final report Tuesday, including a recommendation that school districts undergo regular audits to determine if they are complying with certain “best practices.” But some conservative members of the panel said the report didn’t go far enough, and they’re expected to issue their own minority report. By Peter Hancock
Kansas school finance ruling could pave way to overhaul formula
January 1, 2015
A three-judge panel on Tuesday declared current funding for public schools in Kansas unconstitutional. But rather than ordering lawmakers to increase funding by a specific amount, the court actually left the door open for a variety of options, including an overhaul of the school finance formula, which Gov. Sam Brownback and many Republican leaders have said they want. By Peter Hancock
Reactions to Kansas school finance ruling vary across political spectrum
04:53 p.m., December 30, 2014 Updated 10:53 p.m.
Advocates for public schools generally applauded Tuesday’s court ruling that said current funding for K-12 education is unconstitutional. But others criticized the ruling, which is certain to be appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court. By Peter Hancock
Kansas school funding, water plans on Brownback’s agenda for 2015
December 28, 2014
Gov. Sam Brownback says he’ll ask lawmakers again next year to overhaul the state’s school finance system. He also wants to come up with a long-term funding plan for water projects across the state, and that is likely to involve asking local communities to pick up a share of the cost. By Peter Hancock
Legislative leaders want school finance overhaul
01:00 p.m., December 23, 2014 Updated 02:53 p.m.
Republican leaders of the Kansas House and Senate said Tuesday it’s time to overhaul the state’s school funding formula, but they said there are not yet any solid proposals for doing that. A three-judge panel is currently weighing whether the state is putting enough money into public schools. Their ruling is expected before the Legislature opens its 2015 session Jan. 12. By Peter Hancock