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Brownback Releases School Funding Overhaul Plan

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TOPEKA, Kan. - Kansas Governor Sam Brownback revealed his plan for overhauling how the state finances its public schools on Wednesday, saying that his plan gives local school boards more flexibility in how they spend their money.

Brownback says that under the plan, which would take effect in July 2013, would create a more even playing field between the state's richer and poorer communities.

In the plan outlined by the governor on Wednesday, the state would no longer link some of the local school district spending authority to the number of students at risk of failing, or who don't speak English.

The governor dropped a previous proposal that would allow counties to increase their sales taxes to help support schools, as officials say that the idea was not received well by either educators or legislatures.

Brownback says that his plan will not harm wealthy school districts, but some critics are skeptical of promises that no district will see their state aid decrease under the proposed changes. Others say that there is no need to overhaul the state's existing school funding formula.

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