? As the 2014 legislative session begins, a lot in limbo in regard to the funding of public schools.
With the start of the 2014 legislative session Monday, pollsters and pundits are wondering what lies ahead for our state lawmakers. Part of the uncertainty is that the Legislature passed a two-year budget last year?a move we applaud?which in theory takes away much of the normal prolonged budget wrangling this year.
The other unknown is the pending school finance ruling regarding the Legis?lature?s funding of public schools. Most observers thought the Kansas Supreme Court would have already announced its decision about whether the state is adhering to its constitutional requirement to adequately fund public education.
The direction the court?s decision takes will likely set the agenda for much of the session. Legislators could decide to increase base state aid for pupils from the current $3,838 per student to a lower court?s determination of $4,492, a move that cost the state at least $440 million a year. Or lawmakers could follow through on threats to ignore the high court, which could ignite a constitutional crisis.
Let the games begin. ?DR