Kansas lawmakers face vexing school funding puzzle

Kansas Statehouse_338059

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers are preparing to open their annual session facing a court mandate to boost spending on public schools with little appetite to do what could be necessary to pay for it.

The Republican-controlled Legislature is scheduled to convene Monday afternoon.

GOP Gov. Sam Brownback planned to deliver the annual State of the State address Tuesday evening and lay out budget proposals Wednesday.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in October that the state’s education funding is insufficient under the state constitution.

Lawmakers last year raised income taxes by roughly $600 million a year to help balance the budget. Legislative leaders see little support among lawmakers for another tax hike. Yet they also don’t want to make deep cuts in other parts of the budget to free up money for schools.

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