Top Kansas Democrat calls for school funding boost

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback talks during a news conference on Friday, March, 7, 2014, in Topeka, Kan. The Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state's current public school funding levels are unconstitutional, and the court said Kansas' poor school districts were harmed when the state made the decision to cut certain payments when tax revenues declined during the Great Recession. (AP Photo/The Topeka Capital Journal, Chris Neal)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas House Democratic Leader Paul Davis says Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and the GOP-controlled Legislature should immediately increase aid to poor school districts by $129 million.

Davis said Thursday the increase should be the response to a recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling that past reductions in such aid created unconstitutional gaps in funding between poor districts and wealthier ones.

Key Republican legislators said they’re working to comply with the court’s order to fix the problems by July 1 without busting the state budget.

But Davis said lawmakers should simply add the money to the budget, rather than shifting funds from some other place. He said it’s time for lawmakers to set things right.

Davis is a Lawrence Democrat who’s also hoping to unseat Brownback in this year’s governor’s race.

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