Kansas Court Ruling To Help Property-Poor Areas Most

MGN Online
By  | 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Kansas school districts with the lowest property valuations stand to benefit the most from any new money approved by legislators in response to last week's state Supreme Court ruling.

A deputy commissioner from the Kansas Department of Education tells Democratic legislators Tuesday most of those districts would use any additional money from the state to reduce property taxes, while still spending roughly the same amount on education.

The education department estimates lawmakers need to spend $129 million to fully comply with Friday's ruling, which found portions of the state's school funding formula were unconstitutional.

The department says poorer districts receive a higher percentage of state aid to offset the lack of property valuation. However, large districts like Wichita, Topeka and Olathe also qualify for significant aid amounts.

Districts would use the money for general operations and to buy certain equipment.

The funds would restore cuts made since 2009 in funds intended to put poor districts on equal financial footing with wealthier counterparts, such as those in mineral-rich areas and parts of Johnson County.

Posted by Greg Palmer