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Shawnee County School Boards Ask Kansas Lawmakers To Add School Funding

Christopher Sessums
flickr Creative Commons

Representatives of five school boards in Shawnee County are asking Kansas lawmakers for a quick resolution to the school funding dispute.

Patrick Woods, president of the Topeka Public Schools Board of Education, says they want lawmakers to go back to the old formula for reducing certain disparities among districts. That will cost nearly $40 million.

“This should be easy," Woods says. "They should be able to come in and think am I on the side of kids or am I not? If I am, then I can vote to appropriate money, fix the problem and go home in one day."

The state is already short on money, so finding additional funding for schools would be a challenge. 

The Kansas Supreme Court says there are unconstitutional funding disparities among school districts and if lawmakers don't find a fix before the end of the month schools could be closed. The entire Kansas Legislature will be back in Topeka Thursday for a special session to try and address the problem. 

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.