Top Democrats predict extension of Kansas school funding law

The Kansas Legislature’s top Democrats are predicting that Republican lawmakers will try to extend a new law for funding public schools that’s been criticized by many educators.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka and House Minority Leader Tom Burroughs of Kansas City said Sunday that they believe the Legislature’s GOP majorities won’t be able to pass another school funding law this year.

The Legislature last year junked a per-pupil formula for distributing state aid to school districts, replacing it with “block grants.”

The new law expires in July 2017, but Hensley and Burroughs predicted Republicans will try to extend it another year.

Democratic lawmakers had a briefing on school funding issues from Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis. They caucused a day before the Legislature opens its annual session.