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Brownback Raises Pension Costs as School Issue

Associated Press - November 26, 2013 6:45 pm

Gov. Sam Brownback says he's open to proposals for phasing out a renewable energy requirement for Kansas utilities because policies aimed at nurturing the wind industry shouldn't remain in place forever.

Gov. Sam Brownback says he's open to proposals for phasing out a renewable energy requirement for Kansas utilities because policies aimed at nurturing the wind industry shouldn't remain in place forever.

The focus of the Kansas school finance debate for many years has centered on the amount per student spent by the state for traditional expenses of teacher salaries, buildings and textbooks.

That debate may be shifting to raise more attention on other costs paid by the Legislature, including the amount put each year into teacher pensions, which previously haven’t been considered an expense of doing business.

During a meeting Monday with a small group of superintendents and legislative leaders, Gov. Sam Brownback reinforced that more money has gone into education spending, including millions set aside for retirement.

A top state school official says Tuesday the practice of having the retirement show up on local district budget sheets is a good reminder of the total cost of education to taxpayers.

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