Kansas Legislators Form Committee On Education Finance


Kansas lawmakers have created a committee to study public education funding after the state Supreme Court order directed them to boost spending.

The interim committee created Monday could make recommendations on education funding as well as draft a Constitutional amendment to reduce the Supreme Court’s authority over school finance. The Legislative Coordinating Council passed the measure unanimously on a voice vote.

The Select Committee on Education Finance will be chaired by Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, and the vice chair is Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, will serve as the ranking minority leader.

The remaining committee members are Molly Baumgardner, R-Louisburg; Barbara Bollier, R-Mission Hills; Bud Estes, R-Dodge City; Dan Goddard, R-Parsons; Dan Kerschen, R-Garden Plain, and Pat Pettey, D-Kansas City.

The nine member committee consists of seven Republicans and two Democrats

The Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that legislators did not increase spending on the state’s public schools enough this year. The court hinted that spending is hundreds of millions of dollars short a year of providing a suitable education for every child but did not set a spending target. The court said a new law must be enacted before July 2018.


Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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