State lawmakers to spend $400K for help on school funding

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Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, right, R-Overland Park, discusses a plan for legislators to spend $400,000 to hire attorneys and a school finance expert to help draft a new education funding law, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, at the Statehouse in Topeka. Watching to his left is Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA — Kansas legislative leaders plan to spend $400,000 to get help in drafting a new public school funding law, including separate lawyers for the House and Senate.

The five top Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature agreed on the plan Tuesday. The two Democrats present at legislative leaders’ meeting called it a waste of money and opposed it.

The House and Senate each would spend $100,000 to hire its own attorney. The entire Legislature has had a single attorney previously.

Lawmakers also plan to spend $200,000 to hire a school finance expert to study how much it costs to finance a suitable education for every child.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled last month that a law phasing in a $293 million increase in school funding over two years wasn’t sufficient.

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