Concerns grow for Kansas schools as decision on whether to cut funds for education looms

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KANSAS CITY, Kan . -- Debate begins Thursday over whether to cut tens of millions of dollars from Kansas schools. If approved, the cuts would go into effect immediately.

KCK schools stand to lose the most at a total close to $6.5-million, and leaders in the district say the cuts would be devastating.

With just a few months left in this school year, the KCK School District and others in the metro would most likely have to tap into their reserve funds to make up for the loss in funding.

Olathe would also stand more than $6-million. Olathe school leaders say it would cause a cash flow problem and “require us to make decisions that will directly impact services to students.”

Many Kansas lawmakers were recently elected because of their pro-education platform, but now they are considering taking money away from schools.

Besides $150-million in cuts to education, state senators will also debate whether to raise the income taxes to all Kansans, as well as eliminate tax cuts to farmers and business owners as a part of lawmakers’ efforts to make up a $349-million shortfall in the state budget.

The cuts to education are not a done deal, but Thursday’s debate is the first step to possibly cutting millions in state funding to K through 12 schools, as well as state colleges. College leaders say if lawmakers cut $22-million from their budget, it will most likely lead to higher tuition costs for students.