Archive for Thursday, February 12, 2004

School district to host legislative forum

February 12, 2004

Area senators and representatives will be on hand next week in Basehor to discuss education issues facing the Kansas Legislature during the 2004 session.

The legislative forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17 inside the auditorium at Basehor-Linwood High School. School district officials invite the public to attend the Tuesday evening forum.

Mark Tallman, a lobbyist for the Kansas Association of School Boards, will moderate the Tuesday evening forum.

The senators slated to attend the forum are:

  • Sen. Mark Gilstrap, D-Kansas City, Kan., District 5.
  • Sen. Bob Lyon, R-Winchester, District 3.
  • Sen. John Vratil, R-Leawood, District 11. Vratil also is the school district's attorney.Representatives attending Tuesday night include:
  • Rep. Ray Cox, R-Bonner Springs, District 39.
  • Rep. L. Candy Ruff, D-Leavenworth, District 40.
  • Rep. Marti Crow, D-Leavenworth, District 41.
  • Rep. Kenny Wilk, R-Lansing, District 42.

The legislators will address Gov. Kathleen Sebelius's "education first plan," a series of tax increases the governor proposed to raise an additional $304 million for kindergarten through 12th grade education.

Another education area which could be discussed Tuesday evening is how the decision by Shawnee County District Court Judge Terry Bullock will play out during the legislative session.

In December 2003, Bullock issued a preliminary finding that Kansas' formula for funding public schools violates rights of individuals under the Kansas and United States constitutions. Schools are funded approximately $1 billion less than they should be, according to Bullock's ruling.

The judge ordered legislators to bring the funding formula into compliance by July 1.

Legislators will discuss these issues as well as others concerning education and answer questions during the forum.

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