Budget issues complicate Kansas school funding fix

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2014 photo kindergarten students run during a physical education class at Frank Rushton Elementary School, which has a high percentage of poor/at-risk kids, in Kansas City, Kan. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2014 photo kindergarten students run during a physical education class at Frank Rushton Elementary School, which has a high percentage of poor/at-risk kids, in Kansas City, Kan. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – Republicans who control the Kansas Legislature are looking for ways to address a recent court ruling on school funding without busting the state budget.

GOP leaders and members of the House and Senate budget committees said Thursday it’s unlikely that lawmakers will increase the overall budget by the full $129 million needed to cover deficiencies in aid to poor school districts.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled last week that past reductions in such aid created unconstitutional gaps in funding between poor districts and wealthier ones. The court ordered lawmakers to fix the problems by July 1.

Several key Republican legislators said they doubt the state can fully tap cash reserves to cover the costs. They said the alternatives include shifting education funds around or cutting other parts of the budget.

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