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Kansas Lawmakers Start Work On New School Funding Formula

Stephen Koranda

It’s taken a couple of weeks, but the Kansas Legislature is finally tackling one of its toughest problems - how to fund public schools.

One bill is from Rep. Melissa Rooker, a moderate Republican from Fairway who has been working on a new formula with other lawmakers since the summer.

She says it will look a lot like the old formula with a per pupil allocation and extra money for things like English language learners.

“It’s a new and improved formula that is styled in the manner of the old formula as, I think, a reasonable starting point,” Rooker says.

Another bill is from Republican Scott Schwab of Olathe. Schwab's option calls for extending the block grants for another year while a new formula is tried in four districts.

Sam covers education for KCUR and the Kansas News Service. Before joining the station in August 2014 he covered health and education for KCPT.