It's the first time Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has been available to talk about the controversial school funding bill.
Although the governor said he hasn't received the bill yet, he praised the money potion that sends $150 million to school districts across the state, half to the classroom and half for property tax relief.
"The money part of the bill I think is quite good," said Governor Brownback. "I think it does answer the equalization, which we are under a July 1st deadline to hit."
The Kansas Supreme Court gave the Legislature that deadline for making it's education financing more fair across the board and providing more funds to poorer districts. The governor said that deadline also has significant for teachers who might face layoffs otherwise.
"If the bill is not signed, layoff notices will start going out to teachers because the LOB, the Local Option Budget, cap goes off July 1st unless the court order is met," he said. "A number of school districts are telling us, we need to back that number up on our money, and if we aren't certain it's coming, we're going to have to start sending out lay off notices. The time frames here are tight."
Even with a stiff deadline, many Kansas teachers want the governor to veto the bill until the provision that would essentially get rid of the due process mandate at the state level is taken out. Governor Brownback said since he has not received the bill, he can't say what he will do concerning that provision, but said those who oppose it have some "accurate points."
"At the end of the day, you're trying to get a bill through a legislative process," said Gov. Brownback. "The legislative leaders in lokking at it were saying, 'this is something that was needed to get the bill on through the process.' We're going to look at it and examine it."
Brownback said there's more analysis that needs to be done before a decision is made.
"I don't have the bill yet to look at and examine what all is in the language of it," he said. "Some people have differing opinions about it's impact, whether it's that significant of an impact or if a number of local school districts already provide tenure. There's analysis going on."
The bill is on it's way to Governor Brownback's desk for final approval.