The Latest: Kansas lawmakers break off school funding talks - InfoNews

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The Latest: Kansas lawmakers break off school funding talks

April 06, 2018 - 7:06 PM

TOPEKA, Kan. - The Latest on the Kansas Legislature's debate over increasing public school funding to meet a court mandate (all times local):

9 p.m.

Kansas legislators have broken off negotiations on a final version of an education funding plan aimed at meeting a state Supreme Court mandate to boost spending on public schools.

Negotiators for the House and Senate had several rounds of talks Friday afternoon and evening but did not come closer to resolving the core issue of how much to increase spending.

Lead House negotiator and Republican state Rep. Fred Patton of Topeka said the talks would resume Saturday.

The House passed a plan to phase in a roughly $520 million increase over five years, and the Senate's figure is $274 million.

The Supreme Court ruled in October that the state's current funding of more than $4 billion a year is insufficient under the state constitution.

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4:40 p.m.

Republican legislators in Kansas remain at odds over how much to increase spending on public schools to meet a state Supreme Court mandate.

Negotiators for the state House and Senate opened talks Friday on the final version of a school funding bill.

The House passed a plan to phase in a roughly $520 million increase over five years, and the Senate's figure is $274 million.

Top GOP senators argue that the House plan would force lawmakers to raise taxes within two years. But lead House negotiator and Republican Rep. Fred Patton of Topeka said he doesn't believe his chamber would approve a much lower figure.

The Supreme Court ruled in October that the state's current funding of more than $4 billion a year is insufficient under the state constitution.

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12:20 p.m.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is begging lawmakers to approve a plan for increasing spending on public schools before taking their annual spring break.

Schmidt sent a letter Friday to legislative leaders in both parties to express his "profound concern" that no education funding bill has passed.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in October that the state's current funding of more than $4 billion a year is insufficient under the state constitution. Schmidt's office has until April 30 to report on how lawmakers responded.

Schmidt said his office needs "adequate time" to prepare a report.

Lawmakers were scheduled to start their annual break Saturday and reconvene April 26. The House and Senate have passed rival school funding plans, and negotiators for the two chambers were expected to start talks Friday.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

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