New Kansas school funding plan could increase property taxes

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Local property taxes could rise across Kansas under an education funding bill approved by legislators.

Critics also contend the distribution of state dollars would become less fair to poor school districts.

Republican supermajorities in both the House and Senate passed the plan last month to comply with a state Supreme Court order in February to improve funding for poor schools.

They hoped to head off the court’s threat to shut down schools statewide if lawmakers didn’t fix education funding problems by June 30.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has until Friday to act on the bill.

The bill redistributes $83 million of the aid already promised to 286 local districts for 2016-17. It also allows local districts to increase their local property taxes further to supplement state funds for general operations.

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