TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Public school teachers in Kansas are likely to lose their legal protections against getting fired. State legislators tacked that and other policy changes onto a court-mandated plan to boost aid for poor school districts.
The plan narrowly approved by the Republican-dominated Legislature late Sunday night provides Kansas' poorest districts an additional $129 million during the next school year. It's the full amount needed to reverse recession-driven cuts that led the state Supreme Court to declare last month that there were unconstitutional gaps in funding between poor districts and wealthier ones.
Driven by low-tax, small-government views, Republicans wanted to spend far less but quickly found their hopes dashed. Once that happened, they pursued changes to overhaul public education and promote school choice for parents, most of which had foundered previously.