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Committees to begin work on school fudning

TOPEKA (AP) -- Kansas legislative budget committees are preparing to draft their responses to a state Supreme Court ruling that found portions of the state's school funding formula unconstitutional.

The House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committees were set to begin discussions Thursday on where to find additional money for poorer school districts.

The court ruled March 7 that two funds that help equalize resources among the state's 286 districts were unconstitutional because of spending decisions by the Legislature since state revenue declined in 2008.

State education officials estimate legislators may have to increase funding by $129 million to comply with the ruling, although Attorney General Derek Schmidt has said lawmakers have several options to consider.