The Latest: Kansas Senator Brings Up 1859 School Aid System

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A Kansas lawmaker has stirred up the debate over education funding with a brief history lesson about school finance and the state’s founding.

Republican Sen. Greg Smith of Overland Park distributed a computer run showing how state aid to school districts would have been distributed under language on public education originally included in the state constitution in 1859.

Voters adopted the current education article as an amendment in 1966.

The original language distributed the state’s funds “in equitable proportion” to the number residents between 5 to 21 years old.

Using the 1859 method, the Wichita school district would lose $21.4 million in aid and the Kansas City, Kansas, district would lose $33 million.

Meanwhile, the Blue Valley and Shawnee Mission districts in Johnson County would gain a total of $67.5 million.