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Kansas Session Hits Halfway Point With No School Funding Plan

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Stephen Koranda
/
KPR/File photo

Kansas Lawmakers have passed the halfway point in the 2015 session without unveiling a proposal to rewrite the state’s school funding formula. Governor Sam Brownback has proposed an overhaul, but first he says lawmakers should freeze spending and issue block grants to schools. As Stephen Koranda reports, a proposal could be coming soon.

Governor Brownback and some Republicans have been unhappy with unexpected cost increases for Kansas education. A block grant proposal would give them time to write a new plan while keeping funding steady.

But Mark Tallman, with the Kansas Association of School Boards, has some concerns about freezing funding. He says with the current budget deficit, it could be difficult to even freeze spending where it is.

“We’ve been focusing a lot on this idea of saying ‘well, we want to give you some stability.’ But right now, the state budget hasn’t had much stability,” says Tallman.

Tallman says freezing funding might also make it difficult for schools to deal with changes like growing enrollment.