Lawmakers advance bill to increase funding for public schools

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas legislators have advanced a bill that would phase in a $280 million increase in spending on the state’s public schools over two years.

The House gave the measure first-round approval Wednesday on an 81-40 vote. It plans to take another, final vote Thursday and is expected to approve it and send it to the Senate.

The state spends about $4 billion a year on aid to its 286 local school districts, but the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in March that education funding is inadequate. The court did not say specifically how much spending must increase in setting a June 30 deadline for lawmakers to pass a new school finance law.

Attorneys for four school districts suing the state have said the original plan is not sufficient. Many Republicans disagree.