Kansas Senate plan on school aid faces bipartisan skepticism

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An education funding plan backed by top Republicans in the Kansas Senate faces bipartisan skepticism over whether it increases spending on public schools enough to satisfy a court mandate.

The Senate debated a bill Thursday that would phase in a $274 million increase in school funding over five years and target some of the new money to early childhood education.

Republicans backing the bill weren't sure they had enough support to pass it because the Senate's GOP majority appeared split. Democrats doubted that the plan is large enough.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in October that the state's current education funding of more than $4 billion a year is not sufficient.

The House has passed a plan to phase in a roughly $520 million increase over five years.