State Payments to Schools 25 percent Short in December

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ State payments to public school districts
fall 25 percent short this month in another sign of a deepening
economic crisis.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' budget director Duane Goossen said Monday, ``We do not have enough cash in the bank'' to make full payment. The state paid the 297 districts $165 million for the month of December, $55 million less than what schools were supposed to receive.

State tax receipts have fallen short of projections, forming a $147 million shortfall in the current fiscal year. That amount could reach $1 billion next year.

Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis said so far school districts have been able to cope with the reduced amount.

Kansas school districts are bracing for possible budget cuts when the Legislature convenes next month.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)