Governor Defends School Efficiency Effort

By: AP/WIBW (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: AP/WIBW (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP/WIBW) _ Gov. Sam Brownback says he's pleased with the initial meeting of a school spending task force and what it may produce for Kansas education.

The governor says Tuesday that he remains committed to protecting K-12 funding, public safety and Medicaid spending in the upcoming budget. But he says he wants to see more money make it to classrooms.

Brownback defended the task force and his record on school funding in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Brownback said the tax cuts he introduced will actually help increase school spending in the long run. He also believes a strong economy can help.

"Growth is the key to education funding," Brownback said. "Most of k-12 funding is built on local spending, local funding. Those have taken big hits as property valuations go down."

A task force appointed by Brownback in September held its first meeting Monday. The goal is to find ways to make education funding more efficient while improving student performance, including reading and college readiness.

Democrats have suggested that the conservative Republican governor is going to push for big cuts in aid to public schools next year after signing massive income tax cuts into law this year.

Brownback denies that's his intention. He says, since 2010, education spending has increased by about $1 billion, $40 million of that in the current fiscal year.


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