Two expected school finance developments temporarily on hold

The House K-12 Education Budget Committee cancelled its meeting after reaching general consensus last week on a new school finance proposal.

And the Legislative Coordinating Council, composed of legislative leaders, cancelled a meeting that had been scheduled last week reportedly to hire an attorney to provide counsel to legislators on school finance.

On the K-12 Committee, some members said there was still work being done to get the bill in shape for final committee consideration.

As amended, House Bill 2410 looks similar to the formula legislators repealed in 2015 before implementing the block grant method, which has been declared unconstitutionally inadequate by the Kansas Supreme Court. For school advocates who want to stay up to date on the proposal in committee, KASB has developed a special document to track changes in HB 2410.

On the LCC meeting, no reason was given for the cancellation but last week Democrats criticized what they said was going to be an attempt by GOP leaders to hire former state Sen. Jeff King as the Legislature’s school finance counsel. When in the Legislature, King had sometimes battled with the Kansas Supreme Court.

The court has given the Legislature until July 1 to fix the school funding system,

This is the final week of the regular legislative session with the wrap up starting May 1. The K-12 committee is expected to approve a bill this week for full House consideration.

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