Archive for Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Opponents on Kansas school finance to speak at forum at BHS

November 29, 2011

A forum on school finance — featuring speakers on opposite ends of the issue — will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Baldwin High School.

Mark Tallman, associate executive director of the Kansas Association of School Boards, and Dave Trabert, president of the Kansas Policy Institute, will speak at the event, which is sponsored by state Rep. TerriLois Gregory, R-Baldwin City.

Tallman has argued for more education funding, saying it is needed to maintain quality schools and achieve academic benchmarks set by state and federal law.

The Kansas Policy Institute has argued that the state spends too much on public schools, and supports using tax credits to send children to private schools.

The Wichita-based institute also has weighed in on other fiscal issues that could affect school funding, which makes up about half of the state budget. It supports elimination of the state income tax and a 401(k)-style plan for new state employees to replace the current pension system.

School finance is sure to be one of the top issues of the 2012 legislation session that starts in January. Gov. Sam Brownback has said he will propose an overhaul of the school finance system. But based on preliminary discussions on that proposal, some school advocates say it will increase the funding burden on local school districts.

At the forum, Tallman and Trabert will both make presentations and then take questions from the audience.

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