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House Lawmakers Approve Kansas School Funding Plan

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo

House lawmakers have passed a new spending plan for Kansas schools, on a vote of 84-39. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

The bill would increase school funding by $280 million over two years. That’s in response to a state Supreme Court ruling that says Kansas schools are not adequately funded.

Related: On Day 100, A School Funding Bill Gets A 'Yes' On The Kansas House Floor

“The bill provides significant additional funding," says Don Hineman, House majority leader. "While we may debate the amount, this much is certain, we must be willing to live up to our obligation and actually provide the funding we promise."

Attorney Alan Rupe, who represents the districts suing the state over school funding, says he likes the formula, but there’s “zero” chance the high court will be satisfied unless lawmakers put more money into it.

“It’s like building a great car engine and putting in a thimble full of gas.”

Senators have been working on their own school funding proposal and could debate it next week.

Thursday marks the 101st day of what was scheduled to be a 100-day session. Legislative staff members say each overtime day costs taxpayers around $45,000.

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.