Kansas lawmakers convene amid uncertainty on schools

TOPEKA, Kan. - Uncertainty shadows the Kansas Legislature as it prepares to open its annual session Monday.

   Lawmakers are waiting for a state Supreme Court decision on whether the state is spending enough money on its public schools.

   Leaders from both parties believe education funding will be the Republican-dominated Legislature's most pressing issue once the high court issues its decision.

   Legislators also expect to wrestle with budget, pension and criminal justice issues.

   But lawmakers and Gov. Sam Brownback face the possibility that the Supreme Court will conclude that spending on schools is inadequate.

   A three-judge panel in Shawnee County ruled a year ago that the state must boost annual aid to school districts by at least $440 million. Such a decision threatens personal income tax cuts enacted at Brownback's urging.

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