House passes fix that puts SMSD back in the positive — but local reps’ push to inject more into K-12 system falls hard

The Senate today is expected to take up the K-12 funding “fix” approved by the House over the weekend.

The trailer bill approved by the Kansas House on Saturday reverses the projected losses the Shawnee Mission School District would have seen under the original bill — but some local reps say the bill doesn’t do enough to meet the Supreme Court’s demands.

The “fix” approved by the House and sent over to the Senate for consideration would see Shawnee Mission gaining approximately $4.3 million next year. Under the bill approved the legislature at the end of its regular session earlier this month, Shawnee Mission would lose $231,000 in state funds and would have had access to $1.8 million in local funds eliminated for a total financial impact of a loss of more than $2 million from the current year’s revenues.

Rep. Stephanie Clayton said she was disappointed more changes were not made to the bill.
That move surely elicited a sigh of relief from Shawnee Mission district leaders who were grappling with how to make their budget add up next year under the original bill. But some local legislators say that it’s not enough.

Prior to the passage of the trailer bill Saturday, Prairie Village Rep. Jerry Stogsdill introduced an amendment that would have essentially inserted the language of HB 2799, an effort pushed by Shawnee Mission-area Democrats, into the legislation. That bill would have injected around $150 million in additional funds into the K-12 system, money the Democrats say will be necessary to pass court muster.

But the effort found little traction among House Republicans. All 40 Democrats in the House voted in favor of Stogsdill’s amendment. The only two Republicans to vote in favor of it were Overland Park Rep. Stephanie Clayton and Fairway Rep. Melissa Rooker.

Following the failure of the Stogsdill amendment, Clayton posted a message on Twitter saying she believed it would have gotten the K-12 plan to constitutionality:

After the passage of the final House bill, she said she was disappointed there wasn’t support for efforts to further amend the approach:

Rep. Tom Cox of Lenexa indicated on Twitter that he voted against the Stogsdill amendment because he believed it would have gotten no traction in the Senate, raising the specter of Shawnee Mission being stuck with the loss in the original bill:

The Senate is expected to take up the bill passed by the House today.