Kansas lawmakers to get school finance study

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Education is expected to be on the minds of many this week as lawmakers prepare to get the results from a new school finance study.

With about two months until the legislature goes before the Supreme Court, lawmakers are anxiously awaiting the results of a new school finance study. 

“What I’m hoping for is a real objective look at k-12 education and some different directions we might be able to take,” explained State Sen. Ed Berger, R-Hutchinson. 

This past October, the Supreme Court ruled schools were not properly funded. School districts involved in the latest lawsuit have asked for an additional $600 million.

“I do think we need to be somewhere in that $600 million neighborhood. I do believe a phase in plan over several years is appropriate,” said State Rep. Melissa  Rooker, R-Fairway. 

Legislative leaders have spent about a half million dollars on out of state experts to conduct the new study. The study is expected to reveal how much lawmakers need to spend in order to please the high court. 

 “Is it going to be $600 million and over what period of time or some other number? And I think that’s going to be the really tough nut for us to crack,” explained  State Sen. Tom Hawk, D-Manhattan. 

 “I think the study could come back lower than that, I think it could come back higher than that. Obviously I wasn’t here 10-15 years ago when they last did studies,” said State Rep. Fred Patton, R-Topeka. 

After receiving the study lawmakers said it’ll be a quick turn in order for them to come up with a plan to present to the Supreme Court by its April 30th deadline. 

“We need a solid formula that makes those adjustments for Wichita, or Garden City or Pittsburgh,”Said State Rep. Valdenia Winn,D- Kansas City.

Legislative leaders should get the results of the study Thursday evening, those results are expected to be presented to a joint committee on Friday.

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