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Kansas House Passes Education Budget, Without Special Ed Funding

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) – The Kansas House approved an education budget plan Thursday that funds public schools without increasing special education spending next year. Democrats had attempted to add nearly $600 million of special needs funding to the bill. But lawmakers voted down the additional spending.

Critics argued that a special education funding increase is already included in another bill that lets families use tax dollars to send students to private schools.

Democrats say the House needs to make sure the state helps students with special needs. But, Republican Representative Brenda Landwehr says the increased cost would result in lost funding for other state programs. “Where do we get $600 million?” Landwehr asked. “I’ll tell you where you get it. Foster care and nursing homes.”

The bill also includes some policy provisions such as allowing private and home-school students to participate in public school activities, including sports, and letting school districts pay board members.