Kansas Budget Plan Draws Fire Over School Funding

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A proposed $14 billion budget for the state of Kansas is drawing bipartisan criticism because it would withhold some education funds to push local school districts to tap their cash reserves first.

The issue for critics Tuesday was the elimination of $29 million in new money for the state's 286 school districts to cover higher-than-expected costs during the current school year. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback endorsed the spending.

But the House Appropriations Committee removed the money before endorsing a bill containing its proposed budget Monday night. The change would force districts to absorb the costs and potentially dip into their reserves.

The state's overall spending would drop about 4 percent during the fiscal year that begins July 1, or roughly $650 million.

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