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Wed Jun 7, 2017, 04:48 AM

Standoff in Topeka throws Kansas school districts into upheaval

Dysfunction in Topeka has hampered Kansas school districts from planning for next year and has already thrown districts’ summer programs into upheaval.

Kansas must enact a new school finance formula by June 30 or risk a court-ordered shutdown of the state’s school districts. Districts are preparing for that possibility as a standoff between Gov. Sam Brownback and lawmakers over tax policy stretches into June.

The Kansas House and Senate passed a bill Monday night that would add a net $488 million to state school funding over two years, but even if Brownback signs it the mystery remains how Kansas will pay for it.

The state faces a roughly $900 million budget shortfall for the next two years without including any new funding for schools, and lawmakers have struggled to come to a consensus on a tax and budget policy. Lawmakers passed a plan to raise $1.2 billion over two years through an increase to income tax rates, but Brownback announced shortly after its passage around midnight Monday that he would veto it.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article154602844.html

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