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House budget negotiators increase education offer

By Brad Cooper

House budget negotiators returned this morning with new offers to settle its budget fight with the Senate.

Among other things, it has agreed to reduce the amount it wants to cut education so long as the Senate agrees to pass three other bills that would bring in additional funds.

The House also wants passage of a bill that would allow schools to access reserve funds to offset cuts in state aid — a bill that Kansas City area schools districts say might not help them a whole lot.

The House now is willing to fund elementary and secondary education at a rate of up to $3,780 per pupil, up from its original position of $3,762.

The governor originally had wanted to fund education at $3,780 per student, down from the $4,012 that schools received at the beginning of the year. The cut was because the governor chose not to replace federal stimulus funds.

The Senate has wanted to fund education at a rate of $3,786 per pupil.

The House and Senate return this afternoon for more talks.