School finance committee meeting; follow KASB for developments

The special committee working on a response to the school finance court decision is meeting today and Tuesday. 

Here is the agenda for the Special Committee on a Comprehensive Response to the School Finance Decision. Go here to listen to the meeting online. 

Please follow KASB’s Mark Tallman, Leah Fliter, Rob Gilligan and Scott Rothschild on Twitter for updates as well as KASB’s Facebook page and News Briefs.

The committee is charged with exploring options to give the Legislature in response to the Kansas Supreme Court ruling in the Gannon case that the school funding system is inadequate and inequitable. The committee met once earlier this month and Monday and Tuesday are its final meetings day. 

The 2018 Legislature convenes Jan. 8 and the court has given legislators until the end of April to come up with a remedy. 

KASB has prepared a response to the Gannon ruling and statement that the state’s future depends on the Legislature adequately funding K-12.  

In addition to hearing from legislative staff and the Kansas Department of Education, the committee will spend much of its time reviewing the state budget, including testimony from several agencies on the impact of recent budget cuts.  

Many areas of state government have been struggling since the large tax cuts that were implemented in 2012. Legislators reversed many of those tax cuts this year, but the damage done earlier is still being felt. 

Legislators may have to come up with additional funds to fix the school finance system and address other areas of the budget and statements from leaders of both political parties indicate there is little appetite to increase taxes. 

On Tuesday, much of the testimony before the committee appears related to attempts by some to change the Kansas Constitution’s education article to reduce the court’s role in school funding or prohibit the court from closing schools if the Legislature fails to comply. 

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