Author - Scott Rothschild

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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KASB webinar at 12:30 p.m. today to report on school finance progress

KASB will conduct a webinar at 12:30 p.m. today to report on important progress in the Legislature on school finance and tax bills. On Wednesday, the House advanced a bill that would increase school funding by approximately $280 million over the next two school years. Meanwhile, the Senate Select Committee on Education Finance recommended a similar bill. KASB will provide details on both bills and discuss what will happen next as the Legislature works to meet a court order to provide adequate K-12 funding. To join the webinar please go to https://kasb.adobeconnect.com/e1ecma6u6feq/event/login.html. If you have participated before, look for the blue text...

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School finance bills advance; funding does not

Approval of a school finance system to replace the block grants on July 1 took several steps forward Wednesday when the House advanced a bill to final action and the Senate Select Committee on Education Finance recommended a similar bill to the full Senate. However, passage of a tax bill to fund current state expenditures and the additional costs of the school finance proposals remained stalled, and many question whether the plans will be approved by the Kansas Supreme Court. The court set a June 30 deadline to correct constitutional inadequacies in school funding. Both bills restore most features of the...

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