School funding deal still in debate with House and Senate

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Senate is in recess until 8:30 p.m. and the House is also in recess until 9 p.m. At those times a vote is expected on the school funding deal reached earlier this afternoon between the two. It sets the stage for a late night vote to satisfy a court order.

Saturday’s deal would increase state spending in an effort to address unconstitutional funding levels flagged by the Kansas Supreme Court in its March 7 ruling.

Several policy provisions sought by the Senate were agreed upon by negotiators. Those provisions include the elimination of teacher tenure, a tax credit scholarship program and property tax reduction for private school parents. In exchange, the House accepted changes in the math used for allowing districts to raise additional local property taxes.

It is still unclear if the package could pass both chambers even though both sides gave in during negotiations according to those involved.

Several dozen teachers converged on the Statehouse to lobby legislators legislators on the tenure issue Saturday afternoon.

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