Provision in School Property Tax Budget Leaves Some Critical

Topeka, Kan. (AP)_ A $12.3 billion spending bill is on its way to Governor Sebelius, but some lawmakers are still grumbling.

They are upset over a provision that allows local school boards to raise property taxes to supplement the state aid to their districts receive.

Under a law passed last year, a school board can finance a local-option budget equal to 31% of its state aid. The local authority has long been a point of dispute.

Critics say wealthy districts can raise local-option budgets with low property tax levies, allowing them to outstrip their poorer neighbors.

Backers say a school district's residents ought to be able to finance special programs and improvements.

The bill raises the cap on local-option budgets to 32%.