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Kansas House Committee Forges Ahead With School Spending Plan

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Stephen Koranda
/
Kansas Public Radio
Rep. Kristey Williams, right, and Rep. Valdenia Winn at a committee meeting earlier this month.

A House committee rejected Gov. Laura Kelly’s school funding bill Thursday before advancing their own plan to settle a long-running legal battle over how much to spend on education.

The committee forged ahead with two bills: One would make policy changes, like requiring audits of Kansas school district savings accounts. The other would provide an immediate boost in school funding but cancel scheduled increases that lawmakers approved last year.

Republican Rep. Kristey Williams said future lawmakers should have the flexibility to make those decisions.

“We can make promises, but if we can’t pay for those promises then we’re back in the same situation that we were previously," she said.

The House policy bill eliminates some of the most controversial proposals from an earlier House plan, such as allowing bullied students to transfer to private schools and use state funding.

Democrats say eliminating future funding increases will undercut efforts to resolve the legal battle. They want the House to simply agree to the governor’s funding plan, which adds around $90 million per year for four years.

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

Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link to ksnewsservice.org.

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.