The governor of Kansas last week vetoed a school-finance measure worked out after several weeks of dispute between House and Senate members.
Originally, the House--and Gov. John Carlin--favored a bill that would have set state-aid levels for three years and would have maintained state-imposed limits on growth in school districts' budgets.
The three-year plan was dropped after some legislators objected that it would deprive future legislatures of their authority to appropriate state funds. And the Senate removed the budget caps from the bill.
After a conference committee failed to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions, the House agreed early last week to drop the budget limits, which have been in effect for 16 years to promote equalization in per-pupil expenditures among the state's school districts.
But Governor Carlin vetoed the measure because he considers it "unsound public policy" to allow wealthy school districts unlimited growth, a spokesman said.
The Governor is now supporting a new House bill similar to the original.
It would allow state aid to be set for more than one year at a time and would impose budget caps of 7 percent for wealthy districts and 14 percent for poorer districts.
The veto has held up local school boards' fiscal planning for 1982-83, the Governor's spokesman said, but he added, "That's not abnormal. We go through this every year. That's why we want multi-year funding.''
The New York legislature last week voted to increase state aid to schools by $306 million, to $4.5 billion.
But the legislature's plan would give only modest increases during the next school year to poor school systems, while restoring aid to wealthy suburban districts that faced sharp cuts under a plan advanced recently by Gov. Hugh L. Carey.
Governor Carey had proposed a $742-million increase in state school aid, to be financed by a 1-percent increase in the state's sales tax. The legislature is opposed to increasing the state sales tax.
In an attempt to equalize the amount school districts around the state spend on education, Governor Carey had proposed that no aid be given to the 60 wealthiest of the state's 712 school districts.
The state has asked the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, to overturn lower-court decisions holding that New York's school-finance system is unconstitutional. Three lower courts have found the current system unacceptable because it allows per-pupil expenditures to become largely a function of local property wealth.
It is uncertain whether the Governor will sign the school-aid legislation.
Vol. 01, Issue 28