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Kansas House And Senate Approve School Funding Proposal

Stephen Koranda
Kansas Public Radio/File photo

The Kansas House and Senate approved a school funding plan before adjourning for their spring break. The votes send the bill to Governor Sam Brownback for consideration. The Kansas Supreme Court threatens to close Kansas schools if lawmakers don’t reduce funding inequalities.

The bill redistributes state money to reduce funding disparities between Kansas school districts. It makes sure no district loses overall state support, and some districts would get a boost. Legislative leaders believe the plan complies with the court and ensures stable budgets for schools.

Republican Representative Don Hineman has reservations about the bill, but he voted for it with the hope of keeping Kansas schools open.

“My fear, though, is that it’s inadequate. My fear is it will not pass judicial muster. Yet, it’s the only option we have before us today and time is running out,” Hineman says.

The hope is that if the court does reject the plan legislators could respond again after their month-long break.

Critics of the bill say it doesn't really fix the disparities because it doesn’t add much funding, it just shuffles money around.

Stephen Koranda is the managing editor of the Kansas News Service, based at KCUR. He has nearly 20 years of experience in public media as a reporter and editor.