Schools could see the axe fall if lawmakers don’t figure out what to do about the deficit. Many parents are already concerned that too much money is being taken away and not given out.
Twenty-two days are left in the legislative session. Lawmakers say for now they’re trying to find a quick fix.
Last December Shawnee County District Judge Terry Bullock ruled our school financial system constitutionally flawed. Bullock says the current formula hurts poor and minority students. The state appealed it and is now waiting on word from the Supreme Court. This week, Senate Republicans came up with a $65 million finance plan, which could include a hike on liquor taxes.
There’s also a proposal to eliminate the homestead exemption, adding $40 million to education funding. There’s talk of changing the standard three years to claim a tax refund to just one year. That could generate $12 million for the state.
Under a proposed plan by Kansas House Republicans, school districts could have more autonomy over how they spend and raise funding. Local school boards could decide to increase spending on special education by up to $40.5 million. To do that, they would need to reduce or eliminate a property tax break. Speaker Doug Mays says the plan is a good short-term fix and would avoid a statewide tax increase. But the proposal has yet to gain bipartisan support
The Supreme Court will hear the case in November or December.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.