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Tue Feb 27, 2018, 06:46 AM

Legislature's consultants lay foundation for Kansas public education cost study

TOPEKA ó Consultants conducting a $285,000 study of Kansas public school finance outlined for lawmakers Friday boundaries of a report due in March on the minimum investment required to educate students in a manner consistent with the Kansas Constitution.

The presentation to members of the House and Senate revealed bipartisan anxiety about metrics included or excluded from the analysis. It affirmed a feeling among Democrats the consultantsí assessment would be politically tainted.

The Republican-led Kansas Legislature hired advisers from outside the Capitolís bubble to execute a fresh accounting of the cost for educating the stateís 490,000 students. It follows the Kansas Supreme Courtís ruling in October that a $300 million increase in state aid approved by the 2017 Legislature fell short of equity and adequacy mandates in the constitution. That increase spread among the stateís 286 districts was financed with a controversial income tax hike.

Lori Taylor, a professor in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, told education committee members why previous comprehensive cost studies were flawed or outdated. The two most influential evaluations applicable to Kansas were published in 2006 and 2011.

Read more: http://www.hdnews.net/news/20180224/legislatures-consultants-lay-foundation-for-kansas-public-education-cost-study

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