Kansas lawmakers send school funding bill to governor

Districts suing state say it's not enough
Kansas lawmakers send school funding bill to governor

An attorney representing four school districts suing Kansas says an education funding plan approved by lawmakers isn’t adequate.

Attorney John Robb predicted Thursday that the Kansas Supreme Court will reject Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s plan for an education funding increase of roughly $90 million a year.

Robb said it doesn’t provide enough new money for public education after the 2019-20 school year.

The House approved the plan, 76-47, and the Senate passed it, 31-8, to send the measure to Kelly. The measure ties the new money to several education policy changes favored by GOP lawmakers, including a requirement for a new one-page online performance report on each public school.

Kelly said the bill’s passage is “an important step” toward addressing students’ needs, supporting teachers and “fully funding our schools.” It’s also her biggest legislative victory since taking office in January after campaigning last year as a bipartisan problem-solver.

The four school districts sued the state in 2010. The Supreme Court said in an order last year that a 2018 law promising additional funding increases wasn’t sufficient because it hadn’t accounted for inflation.

Robb said of the plan: “The math just doesn’t do it.”