By Carrie Larson and Greg Palmer
June 23, 2016
A bill designed to make sure Kansas schools will stay open next week cleared its first hurdles in the legislature.
The state Senate’s Ways and Means Committee overwhelmingly signed off (9-2) on SB1, a couple hours before the House Appropriations passed its education bill, HB 2001. Neither side tacked on any amendments, leaving the two bills identical.
The measure would pump $38 million into the state’s Local Options Budget (LOB) Equalization fund.
Not all schools will come out ahead though, in fact many of them stand to lose some funding. Nearly a third of the LOB money, or $13 million, will come straight out of the state’s general education fund. Lawmakers were told that 95 or 96 districts would stand to lose funds. Another $2.8 million will come from moneys set aside for virtual schools.
The bill also raids the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Fund (TANF), reallocating $4.1 million from it towards the school. According to Annie McKay, from Kansas Action for Children, that means TANF will only get $36 million of the $60 million it was promised.
Lawmakers will also use $10.5 million from the fund set up as a result of the 1998 settlement with tobacco companies. Lawmakers will then round off the remaining $7.2 million by using extraordinary needs funds.