Kansas House speaker seeks new school bill

School Funding Fight
FILE - Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback responds to questions from reporters, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick is promising a new measure to fund public schools but without language to expand the state’s charter school laws that was included in a version introduced late Thursday.

Merrick says in a statement Friday that the bill that would have created new public charter schools and oversight was not the agreement that he had reached in negotiations with Senate President Susan Wagle and Gov. Sam Brownback.

The three top Republicans had agreed on a measure that would satisfy a March 7 Kansas Supreme Court ruling and increase spending by $129 million in the next fiscal year. The court found two funds aimed at providing aid to poor school districts were unconstitutional and needed to be equalized to put those districts on better financial ground.

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