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Brownback Raises Pension Costs as School Issue

Associated Press - November 26, 2013 6:45 pm

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is facing new questions about his administration's overhaul of the Medicaid program in Kansas as his close race for re-election nears its end.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is facing new questions about his administration's overhaul of the Medicaid program in Kansas as his close race for re-election nears its end.

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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