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Governor gives lawmakers guidelines for handling education funding issue

Gov. Sam Brownback is calling on lawmakers to address equity funding issues highlighted in a recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling on education funds.

 

In a statement Wednesday, the governor said the equity funding issue should be "completely addressed" this year. He also told lawmakers to keep capital outlay authority intact and fully equalized -- and he told them to keep local option budgets intact and fully funded.

Gov. Brownback admits "significant new funding" will be needed to pull this off. Emporia Rep. Don Hill is expecting about $130 million in revenues will have to be either generated or shifted to meet the governor's goals.

Gov. Brownback also said local school boards need to have opportunities to send additional funding to their schools if the state can give them the necessary legal authority to do so, and he said lawmakers should try to find "legitimate efficiencies" in the current funding formula.

Hill says lawmakers also have to worry about meeting the governor's goals to increase higher education funding to offset cuts made by legislators last year.

The Supreme Court told lawmakers to come up with a new funding plan by July 1 or else it would stop transfers from the state's general fund into the school district capital outlay fund. It also told a Shawnee County District Court three-judge panel to rule on whether the state's laws allow for adequate funding.

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