Amended school funding bill hits Governor Colyer’s desk as court deadline approaches


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Kansas senators returned to Topeka on Monday to find a school finance fix waiting on their desks after it was hammered out in the House over the weekend. The bill undoes an $80 million error inserted into this year’s school funding bill passed by the legislature in early April.

The new school funding law was supposed to phase in a $534 million increase in education funding in hopes of meeting a Kansas Supreme Court mandate to boost spending on public schools.

The law set a minimum for local property tax revenues to be raised by local school boards and counted those dollars toward the state’s total aid. Instead of adding local dollars to state dollars, they inadvertently replaced state dollars with local dollars.

Gov. Jeff Colyer signed the bill, but he urged lawmakers to fix it. They face a May 7 deadline to show the court their work, and to possibly put an end to seven years of litigation.

Democrats repeated their attempt from earlier this month to go beyond $530 million, which they say isn’t enough, and the plaintiffs in the case agree.

Just before 4 p.m. yesterday legislators in the senate approved a bill that is designed to fix a flaw in a new education funding law that would have cost public schools $80 million.

The Senate’s 30-8 vote Monday sends the measure to Gov. Jeff Colyer, and he has promised to sign it. The House approved the bill on Saturday.

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Derek Nester
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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