Kansas, Hopefully, Averts Schools Shutdown

by | June 28, 2016 AT 11:50 AM

By Hunter Woodall

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed legislation Monday afternoon that is expected to satisfy the state's Supreme Court and keep schools open past June 30.

The plan helps equalize school funding by giving $38 million to poorer school districts. The Kansas Legislature overwhelmingly supported the legislation Friday night with only seven lawmakers -- one senator and six members of the House -- voting against it. The governor said he was "very involved" with the bill.

The bill was approved after a previous school finance proposal made it out of committee but was never debated on the floor. That bill was criticized by some lawmakers because it cut 0.5 percent from each school district to reach the $38 million in redistribution.

The two-day special session ended Friday night. It was the 23rd special session in state history, according to the Legislature's website. Legislators were up against a June 30 deadline imposed by the Kansas Supreme Court to help equalize school funding.

The legislation that was signed into law uses money from the K-12 extraordinary needs fund and a legal settlement with tobacco companies to help reach $38 million.

(c)2016 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)