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New Kansas School Funding Plan Won’t Cut Any District Budget

Stephen Koranda
Kansas Public Radio

Kansas lawmakers have introduced a new school funding plan that tries to fund school districts more evenly without costing any of them money. Previous plans had redistributed money and left some districts with less overall funding.

Lawmakers are trying to find a way to reduce disparities between school districts following a Kansas Supreme Court ruling. The bill would redistribute state funding and tap an existing extraordinary needs fund. Republican Senator Ty Masterson says stakeholders made it clear that no district should lose money.

“It was very widely accepted, not only accepted but considered critical by the education lobby group, that needed to be a part of it,” Masterson says.

The bill also doesn’t require new money, which is important during tight budget times. Democratic Senator Laura Kelly says she’s not sure they can meet the court’s requirements without adding a sizeable amount of cash.

“We are going to go through all these machinations to try to come up with something that we think will pass court muster but not cost us another dime, because we don’t have it,” Kelly says.

There will be public hearings on the bill later on Wednesday.