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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Kansas Senate Narrowly Approves School Funding Increase

Republican lawmakers narrowly passed an education funding plan Thursday in the Kansas Senate, overcoming bipartisan skepticism that it would increase spending enough on public schools to satisfy a court mandate.

The vote was 21-18 on a bill that would phase in a $274 million increase in school funding over five years, targeting some of the dollars to early childhood education to ensure that fewer children fall behind early.

Republicans hold a 30-seat majority in the 40-member Senate but were split. Some conservatives were upset with the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling in October that the state’s current education funding of more than $4 billion a year isn’t sufficient under the state constitution, even with increases approved last year. Some GOP moderates questioned whether the plan was big enough, and the chamber’s nine Democrats and one independent member opposed it.

Senate GOP leaders sold some fellow Republicans on voting for the bill to keep lawmakers moving toward meeting the court’s mandate. The justices gave the attorney general until April 30 to report on how legislators fixed the problems the court identified.

The House has approved a plan to phase in a roughly $520 million increase in education funding over five years, and Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer publicly endorsed it Wednesday. The final version of a plan would be drafted by negotiators for the two chambers.

 

Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
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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