Kansas lawmakers hope for progress on school funding plan

School funding (KSN graphic)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas legislators are hoping to advance a proposal to increase spending on public schools even though some lawmakers question whether it would be adequate.

A special House committee planned to vote Friday on a bill that would phase in a $762 million increase in aid to the state’s 286 local school districts over five years.

The bill also creates a new per-student formula for distributing the money to see that enough goes to programs for at-risk students.

Kansas spends more than $4 billion a year on aid to its public schools. But the state Supreme Court ruled in March that education funding is inadequate.

Lawmakers must also close projected budget shortfalls totaling $887 million through June 2019. They expect to raise income taxes but haven’t settled on a plan.