Kansas GOP lawmakers at odds over school funding

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican legislators in Kansas remain at odds over how much to increase spending on public schools to meet a state Supreme Court mandate.

Negotiators for the state House and Senate opened talks Friday on the final version of a school funding bill.

The House passed a plan to phase in a roughly $520 million increase over five years, and the Senate's figure is $274 million.

Top GOP senators argue that the House plan would force lawmakers to raise taxes within two years. But lead House negotiator and Republican Rep. Fred Patton of Topeka said he doesn't believe his chamber would approve a much lower figure.

The Supreme Court ruled in October that the state's current funding of more than $4 billion a year is insufficient under the state constitution.