It likely was too much to hope that state lawmakers would return to Topeka and quickly balance the budget and approve a new school funding plan.
Still, they better pick up the pace if they are to avoid a potential school shutdown and a costly special session.
As is, lawmakers still seem to be grappling with the size of the shortfall and the basics of school finance.
Many lawmakers don’t want to vote on a tax increase that won’t do enough to cover the state’s budget shortfall, which is about $900 million over the next two fiscal years, not counting additional funding for K-12 education.
Meanwhile, a House committee that appeared to have a school finance plan ready also got hung up last week over whether to include a tax increase in the bill.
There was even a disagreement over which issue lawmakers should tackle first – the budget, school finance or a tax increase. Democrats and many moderate Republicans want to pass the school funding plan first, while GOP leaders are focused on a tax plan.
Whatever the order, lawmakers need to start making progress.
The Kansas Supreme Court set a June 30 deadline for enacting a suitable new school funding plan or face potential school closings. Lawmakers need to finalize a plan soon so there is time for the court to review it before the end of June.
And the longer lawmakers drag this out, the more likely they may need an extended or special session – which would cost the state even more money. That would add insult to injury.