LAWMAKERS PASS BLOCK GRANT BILL TO FUND SCHOOLS

TOPEKA | (2014) 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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The 2015 Legislature in Review

By Bill Sutton

With the session completed and the Festival on the Trails and the Johnson County Fair behind us, I’d like to take this opportunity to look back at one of the most challenging legislative sessions in Kansas history.

It was disappointing for those of us who are committed to a smaller government (only slightly more than $50 million in spending cuts) and lower taxes (0.35% new sales tax). The session was a complete failure for those who hoped to expand Obamacare in Kansas or roll back the 2012 tax reforms, despite higher wages and more people working.

Kansas media coverage focused on more revenue to fix a perceived 'shortfall.' However, the budget is what established the spending requirements. The adopted budget will continue the upward trajectory of spending with total 2017 state spending with spending 11.8% higher than in 2013.
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School taxes drop 13 percent in Gardner-Edgerton

(2014) 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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