Author - Scott Rothschild

House rejects bill combining school funding, policy and tax increase

A plan to put school funding, education policy and a tax increase in one bill failed on Monday. The House voted 91-32 against the proposal on Day 108 of the legislative session. The measure would have increased school funding by approximately $290 million and raised about $1 billion in taxes. It also would have expanded a voucher program, placed new limits on bonds that schools could issue and dedicated all state personal income tax revenue to K-12 funding. The Legislature faces a June 30 deadline from the Kansas Supreme Court to provide adequate school funding and a state budget shortfall of nearly $900...

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Summary of school finance-tax proposal before Legislature

Summary of School Finance Proposal, conference committee report on SB 19. (As understood by KASB staff at 4 p.m. Monday.) Follows number of sections used in Revisor of Statutes explanation. Overall funding and base state aid: House base of $4,006 in FY 2018 and $4,128 million; three-year rolling average of consumer price index (Midwest) beginning in 2020, no earmarking of appropriations for weightings. Kindergarten and preschool at-risk: count kindergarten as 1 FTE regardless of attendance in FY 2017-19 or whichever year district begins to offer all-day kindergarten. Three-year average enrollment option: permitted for districts receiving federal impact aid. Military...

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No school finance debate Sunday

Republicans on Sunday teed up a bill for debate in the House that combined a new school finance plan with a tax increase before deciding to wait. The House called it quits Sunday evening, which indicates House leaders may not have the votes to pass the new proposal or they need more time for legislators to consider the complex bill. Education advocates are urged to follow KASB on Facebook, Twitter and www.kasb.org to monitor developments. The measure would increase aid to schools by $280 million over two years and also includes a tax increase that would raise approximately $1 billion over two...

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Debate possible tonight on bill that includes school finance, tax increase

The Legislature tonight may begin debate and vote on a bill that includes both an overhaul of school finance and increases taxes. Education advocates are urged to follow KASB on Facebook, Twitter and www.kasb.org to monitor developments. The measure would increase aid to schools by $280 million over two years and also includes a tax increase that would raise approximately $1 billion over two years. It would also forward a new policy, sending all state income taxes to school funding. The measure, negotiated by House and Senate Republicans on the school finance conference committee, would also expand tax credits to send certain...

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Expansion of vouchers crops up in school finance talks

The lead Senate negotiator on school finance on Saturday offered to agree to a House proposal that would increase aid to schools by $280 million over two years, but added a new wrinkle — expansion of vouchers. House negotiators said they needed to study the proposal further. The school finance conference committee is scheduled to meet again at 1 p.m. Sunday. Both the House and Senate are scheduled to gavel in at 2 p.m. If the House side agrees to the Senate’s “global” offer on funding and other issues, there could be important votes later Sunday by the full House and...

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Legislature scheduled to work through weekend on schools, taxes, budget

The Kansas Legislature plans to work through the weekend on school finance, taxes and the budget. Education advocates should keep up with developments on social media and the KASB website. “It is our intention to press through the weekend,” Senate Vice President Jeff Longbine, R-Emporia, said on Friday, the 105th day of what was initially planned to be a 100-day session. “Please be patient. There are a number of things that have to fall together,” Longbine said. Legislators are in overtime facing a June 30 Kansas Supreme Court deadline to come up with a new school finance formula that adequately funds K-12...

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Brownback announces changes he would like to see in school finance

Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday announced changes he wants in a proposed new school finance formula, including expansion of school choice. Brownback’s statement released to the media came on the 104th day of the legislative session and just hours before House and Senate negotiators were poised to sit down to hammer out differences in the plans approved by each chamber. “I appreciate the hard work of the House and Senate committees this session on this enormous and vitally important undertaking,” Brownback said. “However, I do believe there remains some room for improvement.” Before the final bill reaches his desk for consideration, Brownback...

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Negotiations expected on House, Senate school finance bills

The House and Senate are expected to set up a conference committee to resolve differences between the Senate school finance bill passed yesterday in HB 2186, and the House bill, HB 2410, passed last week. The conference committee will likely begin meeting today. The Senate bill was approved on final action yesterday by a vote of 23-16. Here is the roll call vote. Seven of the Senate's nine Democrats voted against the bill, with Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, saying the bill is "riddled with in inadequacy and inequity." Many of the chamber's most conservative Republicans also opposed the bill. The...

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Senate advances school finance plan; tax proposal fails again

The Kansas Senate on Wednesday approved a school finance plan that would phase in approximately $235 million over two years. It also approved a tax bill to cover its cost that was quickly defeated by the House. Differences in the school bill approved by the Senate -- HB 2168 -- and a school finance measure approved last week by the House -- HB 2410 -- will be negotiated in a conference committee. Here is a link to a side-by-side analysis of the two school finance bills and KASB comments and concerns. Relatively few amendments were added to the Senate bill despite eight...

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Senate to debate school finance today

After a four-day break, the Legislature returns to action today with scheduled Senate debate on a school finance measure, Senate Substitute for HB 2186. The House passed a similar bill, HB 2410, last week. Because the Senate Select Committee on School Finance amended its bill, originally SB 251, into the shell of a House bill, a conference committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions could begin almost immediately. Less likely is that the House would simply agree to the Senate positions, sending the bill directly to Gov. Sam Brownback. The two bills have moved closer in content as...

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