Plan revives old tensions in Kansas school funding debate
Associated Press - September 3, 2016 4:23 pm
Restoring state funding for higher education is a structural way to keep college costs down for students, the head of Kansas' governing board of education said after a community college announced plans to develop a degree costing just $15,000.
A new funding plan from a group of Kansas school administrators is reviving longstanding regional tensions and spotlighting questions about whether the state spends enough on public education.
One part of the plan was similar to a complex formula to dole out nearly $4.1 billion yearly that legislators junked last year. Instead, legislators went for predictable “block grants” for districts that allow the state to better control its spending.
But other provisions represent a radical departure from past policy, such as stripping local districts of their power to tax. The state would instead raise property taxes statewide as a way to prevent poorer schools from falling too far behind wealthier ones.