A Kansas legislative committee worked eight hours Thursday night and didn’t come up with a new school funding formula.
But we now know the goal for how much new money will be added to try and satisfy the state Supreme Court which has ruled school funding in Kansas is inadequate.
Their target was a $150 million over a period of five years, to escalate up slowly to a more constitutionally appropriate number according to Representative Melissa Rooker, a Republican from Fairway who has been driving force to find more money for public education.
By adding $150 million more each year for the next five years, lawmakers will gradually increase public school funding by $750 million. Most believe that final figure will pass constitutional muster.
Rep. Ed Trimmer from Winfield, the ranking Democrat on the K-12 Budget Committee, said that’s the minimum the Legislature has to find otherwise they will be back doing this same thing again after the court tells them it’s not enough money.
There is concern by some on the committee that a five year ramp up may not be quick enough to satisfy the court. Lawyers for the plaintiff school districts that sued the state have said they would accept some phase in of new money.