A top aide to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback outlined a new school finance plan last week that he said would increase funding for about half of the 283 school districts in the state without harming the others,
Policy director Landon Fulmer told the State Board of Education that the plan would increase basic state aid to $4,492 per pupil from the current $3,780.
He said the plan would create a tax equalization fund to allocate revenue from Kansas’ education property tax to bring districts with a low tax base closer to the statewide average.
“The numbers are out, and we think they’re good numbers,” Fulmer said. “We’ve cross-checked them vertically and horizontally, and we think they work out.” He added that the new plan will give more flexibility to local districts by removing the state ceiling on property tax rates.
Brownback will present the new funding proposal to the Legislature when it convenes Jan. 9.
If approved, it would go into effect in fiscal 2013.
A statement from the governor’s office said funding the plan would require an allocation of $39 million from the state general fund.
“The governor believes that education is to the state government what defense is to the federal government — its primary function and the lion’s share of its budget,” according to the statement. “His budget recommendations will reflect that priority.”