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Kansas Lawmakers Prepare For Possible Special Session Over School Funding

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Now that the veto session is over, Kansas House Minority Leader Jim Ward says he believes lawmakers will head back to Topeka for a special session to discuss a constitutionally acceptable school funding formula.

Ward says although significant steps were made to return to per-pupil funding – with additional dollars for all-day kindergarten, special needs and at-risk students – the levels of funding in the bill for 2018 are less than they were in 2009.

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Jim Ward speaks at a meeting at the Statehouse.

“When we’re talking about  [a] $3 billion to $3.5 billion school budget, it's really important to get it right because there are about 400,000 to 450,000 school kids that depend on what happens in our public schools, about 50,000 employees, and it has a huge impact on every community across the state," Ward says.

If Gov. Sam Brownback signs the bill, it will be sent to the Kansas Supreme Court for review. Ward says it may be the middle of July before lawmakers hear a response from the court.

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Carla Eckels is assistant news director and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.