Error in text of K-12 bill would see Shawnee Mission losing $230,000 instead of gaining $4.3 million next year

Students at work at ApacheIS. If left uncorrected, an error in the legislature’s K-12 bill would see Shawnee Mission schools losing funding next year.

Kansas State Department of Education officials on Monday said they had discovered an error in the text of Substitute for Senate Bill 423, the K-12 funding plan passed by the legislature early Sunday morning, that would sap around $80 million in expected funding for schools next year.

An announcement on the KSDE website said that a “technical change will be discussed when the Legislature returns on April 26, 2018.”

If uncorrected, the error would have a major impact on funding for Shawnee Mission schools. An analysis of the bill as it was intended to be passed showed that Shawnee Mission, the third largest district in the state, would have seen an additional $4.3 million in funding over the previous year. As passed, though, the formula would actually reduce Shawnee Mission’s funding level by $231,386.

Other large Johnson County districts would be hit as well — though not as severely. Blue Valley would go from an expected increase of $4.8 million to an increase of just $900,000. Olathe would see its increase reduced from an expected $10.5 million down to $5.5 million.

Though it’s not uncommon for the legislature to take up such technical fixes to bills in the final days of a session, the looming deadline for the state attorney general to prepare a defense of the bill as well as the contentious nature of the vote in the senate had some legislators unsettled.

Rep. Brett Parker, a Democrat who teaches in Olathe Public Schools, said on Twitter that he had concerns about the timeline for Attorney General Derek Schmidt to prepare briefs: