School Funding Passes Legislature

Kansas legislators easily approved a bipartisan measure boosting education spending to what was touted as full funding for public schools while also making more students eligible for private school scholarships.

The Senate approved the measure, 35-4, and the House passed it, 107-9, sending the package of dollars and policy changes to Governor Laura Kelly.

Almost all of the no votes came from conservative Republicans.

The governor signaled that she would sign the bill by publicly taking credit for it.

The bill would increase aid to the state’s 286 school districts by 5.3%, to $5.2 billion.

The education bill helped complete a spending blueprint for state government of about $21 billion.

In the education bill, conservatives did get a key “school choice” initiative into the package.

They dropped a more ambitious proposal to use state dollars to create education savings accounts that the parents of struggling public school students could use to pay for private schooling.