Kansas headed toward another school finance debate next year

Five months after a new law for funding public schools took effect in Kansas, legislators and education officials are talking about drafting another one next year.

The interest comes from critics of this year’s changes in how the state distributes more than $4 billion in aid to 286 school districts – but also from Republican lawmakers who supported the new law.

The new law took effect in early April. It jettisoned the state’s old, per-student formula for distributing aid to the districts, replacing it with grants based on what each district received during the previous school year.

The law set aside money for school funding through June 2017.

The new law’s authors said from the beginning it was a short-term fix for the problems they saw in school funding.