Kansas state funding for schools could be frozen for two years

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A decision about the future of state funding for Kansas schools is expected to be made by Friday. Lawmakers are expected to throw out the old funding formula to create a new one.

It's too early to tell whether a new funding formula would bring in more money to school districts such as Shawnee Mission, Blue Valley, Olathe or Kansas City, Kan., which all are among the largest in the state.

Leaders from the State House and Senate are working together to throw out the current way the state gives money to school districts and draw up a brand new plan.They said they hope to pass a bill later this week that would freeze funding for schools over the next two years.

Schools would receive block grants and have to dip into their reserves for any additional money needed.

The Kansas Policy Institute  reported last week that most school districts have hundreds of thousands of dollars set aside in reserve funds, which will help schools get through the next two years, as lawmakers create a brand new funding formula that will be more predictable and prevent sudden swings in funding demands.

If lawmakers do not pass a plan by the end of the week, Governor Nixon will cut $28 million more dollars from school funding to help balance the budget.

Even with the cut, schools are still receiving more in state funds than last year.  Local districts like Shawnee Mission would lose more than a million dollars they budgeted for and would have to use reserves to make up the difference.