GOP Insists Schools Can Take Budget Cuts

Debate is brewing in the Legislature about whether public schools can withstand a budget cut without hurting classroom instruction.

House Speaker Mike O'Neal and other Republicans argue that
funding cuts can be made on the noninstructional side. O'Neal said
from about 60 percent to 65 percent of school budgets are
``instructional dollars.''

But Kansas Association of School Boards lobbyist Mark Tallman
said what constitutes instructional funding and noninstructional
funding often is up for debate. He said that under the federal
government's definition, instructional funding includes salaries
for teachers and paraprofessionals, instructional supplies and
extracurricular activities.