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Kansas Lawmakers Could Soon Start Work On K-12 Funding

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo

Lawmakers have the tall order of creating a new school funding system for Kansas public schools: The temporary block grants that have been funding schools are set to expire this year. Stephen Koranda reports on how legislators might begin the process.

On big issues - like school funding -- Kansas lawmakers sometimes take the strategy of pursuing several different plans all at the same time. That can lead to committees pushing out multiple bills, but most of them go nowhere.

Republican Sen. Molly Baumgardner, who chairs the Education Committee, says that’s not her strategy. She says she’d like a process with more consideration and public hearings on the issue of K-12 funding.

“I think there’s a lot of heavy lifting to do. I want us to get it right before it gets out of committee,” Baumgardner says.

Gov. Sam Brownback has not presented lawmakers with a school funding plan, but says he'd like to see a system that focuses less on the amount of money spent and more on student performance. The House has created a special committee to work on school funding. Staff members say the Senate might do the same.