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Several Large Kansas School Districts Endorse Funding Plan

Chris, flickr Creative Commons

A new plan to fund public schools got a big boost today when some districts that stand to lose money said they would support the proposal.

Several wealthy districts in Johnson County will lose overall funding, which will go to assist poorer school districts. Todd White, superintendent of Blue Valley Schools, says they’re willing to compromise and accept the bill in order to keep schools from closing.

“Our time is short. We have less than a week to comply with the court’s mandate. We’ve got circumstances in this state regarding state revenues that we cannot overcome in a week’s time,” White says.

Other school district officials aren’t so sure about the plan. Basehor-Linwood School District board member Dayna Miller says they’ve barely had any time to consider the impact of the bill, since it was only unveiled today. She says the public hearings didn't include enough input from affected school districts.

“Only the larger districts were the ones that kind of weighed in on this. I would very much like to hear from some of the smaller districts, also,” Miller says.

The Associated Press reports Wichita Superintendent John Allison said his district would not object to the plan as a last resort if lawmakers couldn't find additional dollars outside education to divert to schools.

The latest plan provides more aid to less affluent school districts to reduce property tax disparities.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Radio covering health, education and politics.