Kansas Lawmakers Undecided on How to Restore $129 Million to Schools

Several local Kansas Lawmakers  gathered Saturday morning at Sunset Zoo’s Nature Exploration Center for the second-to-last Legislative Coffee of the season.

Representative of the 67th District, Tom Phillips shared his opinion on how the legislature should restore $129 million to public schools, as mandated by the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling on school finance.

“I would like to take a major bulk of the money out of last year’s carry-over balance,” Phillips said, “There’s probably some initiatives submitted by the Governor, for example pre-K.  That’s 16 million dollars, maybe we’re gonna have to hold off on that initiative.”

Representative of the 66th District, Sydney Carlin added to what Phillips suggested about Brownback’s all-day Kindergarten initiative, and said she believes the program is dead in the water.

“We knew that was just out there to look good,” Carlin said, “It’s not going to happen. The state’s not going to pay for that right now, we don’t have the money to do that.”

There are only a handful of weeks before the Legislative Session is scheduled to conclude in mid-May, however Representative Phillips said the school finance issue could force things to drag on for “a long time”.

The Legislature officially has until July 1st to agree on a solution. After that, it’s up to the courts.