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The Latest: Kansas House rejects $522M boost in school aid

April 2, 2018

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on Kansas legislators’ debate over increasing spending on public schools (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

The Kansas House has rejected a proposal to phase in a $522 million increase in aid to the state’s public schools over five years.

The vote Monday was 65-55 against giving first-round approval to a bill that Republican leaders believed would meet a Kansas Supreme Court mandate to boost education funding. The court ruled in October that the state’s current spending of more than $4 billion a year is not sufficient under the state constitution.

Leaders of the House’s GOP majority immediately scheduled another debate on school funding for Tuesday.

Many Democrats did not think the spending increase was big enough, while some conservative Republicans wouldn’t support the increase in the bill.

GOP leaders said the measure was about as much as the state could afford without increasing taxes.

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3:35 p.m.

Republican lawmakers in Kansas have blocked an attempt by Democrats to add more spending to a five-year education funding plan designed to satisfy a court mandate to boost state aid to public schools.

The House debated a bill Monday to phase in a $522 million increase in funding over five years. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in October that the state’s current aid of more than $4 billion a year is not adequate under the state constitution.

Democratic Rep. Ed Trimmer of Winfield proposed making the increase in aid $295 million higher so the state would phase in an increase of $817 million over five years.

The vote was 76-46 against his amendment. Republican leaders said the bill is as much as the state can afford without raising taxes.

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