Kansas is not in crisis anymore
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Negotiators strike schools deal; session's end in sightJOHN
TOPEKA, Kan. - House and Senate negotiators agreed
Wednesday on a $148.4 million education funding package aimed at ensuring public
schools open in August and satisfying a Kansas Supreme Court
Negotiators struck the deal after legislators returned from an
extended Fourth of July holiday. The agreement came only two days before a
Friday hearing scheduled by the court to hear arguments on why nearly $3 billion
in state funds shouldn't be withheld from the state's 300 school
The package comes with no strings attached, meaning House members
gave up on trying to tie it to passage of constitutional changes to limit
judicial power or to delay the distribution of the money. If approved by
legislators Wednesday night, the money would be available to schools for their
2005-06 academic year.
Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Jean Schodorf
said the agreement was similar to what her chamber proposed Saturday, when
legislators abruptly left the Statehouse. She expected the package would win
approval and satisfy the court.
"Hopefully, we will be able to finish this
problem and end the special session," said Schodorf, R-Wichita. "This best thing
is, we have a clean bill to fund schools."
Passage in the House will depend
on support from Democrats and moderate Republicans.