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Brownback puts target on school finance

The gubernatorial campaign of Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., has been mostly broad strokes about promoting growth, with promises to deliver a "road map" soon. But he got specific in a big, tantalizing way Wednesday in Hutchinson, suggesting he'd like to replace the K-12 school finance formula, which he called "confusing" and "fairly antiquated" — and do so within his first year in office, with the help of lawmakers, school boards, teachers and local leaders. The formula hasn't been substantively revised since the early 1990s, yet its many flaws were at the heart of midsize districts' successful lawsuit against the state in 2005. "The formula doesn't work," Brownback said Wednesday. Without saying what would work, he endorsed spending money on instruction, rather than on administration or litigation, and ruled out forced consolidation of districts.