LAWMAKERS PASS BLOCK GRANT BILL TO FUND SCHOOLS

TOPEKA | The Kansas Legislature has approved a bill that supports a solution to the broken school finance system that has diverted money away from classrooms and tied the hands of school administrators statewide for 23 years.

The House passed the measure Friday 64 to 57 and Senate followed suit Monday (March 16) by passing the bill 25-14. The governor is expected to sign it into lawl.

Most Johnson County lawmakers voted for the bill_ Substitute for Senate Bill 7.

The solution utilizes block grants for two years, installing unrivaled local control and empowering school districts to direct money to the classroom. The block grants will give unrestricted “General State Aid” to school districts; effectively unlocking funds currently confined by the school finance formula in categories like general state aid, supplemental general state aid, capital outlay state aid, virtual school aid, and the amount of employer KPERS obligations. The block grant also unlocks money in the ancillary school facilities tax levy, the cost of living tax levy, and the declining enrollment tax levy.
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State of the State 2015

TOPEKA | Rep. Bill Sutton of Gardner will play a role in developing a new school finance formula as vice chairman of the House Education Budget Committee.

Sutton said developing a new funding formula for schools will be a daunting task.

“But it's the kind of hard work the people of the 43rd District expect of me. It's also long overdue,” he added.

Sutton reacted recently to Gov. Sam Brownback’s State of the State address given Jan. 15 to a joint session of the Kansas Legislature.

“Overall, I'm excited about the strong positions Governor Brownback took in the State of the State Address,” he said.

In his speech, the Governor noted that the current formula has been in litigation for many years since its inception in 1992. Funding for public schools makes up half of the state’s general fund budget.
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School taxes drop 13 percent in Gardner-Edgerton

Don’t believe the naysayers like Paul Davis, Gov. Sam Brownback’s Democrat opponent, who claims public education dollars have been reduced during the current administration in Topeka. Read more...

A Recent History of Kansas School Funding

Here’s what happened when a large influx of federal stimulus money was provided to the state for schools during the “Great Recession” and what happened when it went away.
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Rep. Bill Sutton (R-Gardner) was on hand when Gov. Sam Brownback signed SB 95 into law during a ceremony today (April 28, 2015) at the Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa. The bill is the Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. (Video by Jim Sullinger Strategies LLC)

Catch Rep. Sutton's video interview with WIBW television concerning the death penalty. Go to the Video Page.

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