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Brownback Sets Kansas Special Session For June 23

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Stephen Koranda
/
KPR/File photo

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has made it official. He has signed an order saying Kansas lawmakers will return to Topeka on Thursday, June 23, for a special session on education funding issues.

The Kansas Supreme Court says funding inequalities among school districts have to be reduced or schools will close after the end of the month. Brownback made it clear he doesn’t agree with the ruling, but he wants to avoid schools closing, so he said lawmakers might add more money to comply.

“I’m seeing several plans now where you use a variety of different sources of funding to come up with the $38 million,” he said Wednesday.

But with a tight budget, the next question is: Where do you get $38 million? Brownback said it would be shifted from other areas.

“It’s any range of places, including within the education funding formula itself,” he said.

Brownback said new tax revenues will probably not be part of the discussion.

The governor said there could also be policy issues added to the mix to attract lawmakers who aren’t too keen on simply complying with the court order.

Senate President Susan Wagle and House Speaker Ray Merrick released the following statements regarding the focus of the upcoming special legislative session.

"We are committed to working together to expedite the special session by focusing all efforts on keeping schools open and ensuring the education of Kansas kids is not interrupted," Wagle said.

“Despite the Court’s attempts to stir up fear and close Kansas schools, it’s not going to happen,” said Merrick. “During the upcoming special session Republicans will focus on ensuring the court does not close schools. All efforts will be made to get in, get our business done and get out.”