State laws passed in recent years that require an additional $174 million in public school spending for the 2009-10 school year may be repealed or not funded, said Kansas Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt as legislators deal with projected budget shortfalls in fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2010.

One law requires an increase in education funding based on the inflation rate. A bill passed in 2008 mandates a hike in basic education aid of $59 in per-pupil funding, which will cost the state $32 million a year.

Schmidt, a Republican, said public education has received $1.7 billion in new state funding over the past four years, and additional increases must await improvements in the economy.

Senate Vice President John Vratil, R-Leawood, said maintaining the increases to public education would require a 30% cut in all other state spending. He called that unlikely.

The 2003 Legislature approved a tax increase of $232 million to avoid cuts in public education, but no tax increases are anticipated in 2009.

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