Judges: Kansas School Funding Law Meets Mandate

A three-judge state court panel in Kansas has ruled that an education funding law approved by legislators in April complies with a state Supreme Court mandate on aid to poor school districts.

MGN Online

TOPEKA, Kan. Late Tuesday, Shawnee County District Court Judges ruled a new education funding law does comply with a state Supreme Court mandate.

However, the case isn't over.

The three-judge panel declined to dismiss all claims about the fairness of the school funding formula in a 2010 lawsuit brought on by parents and school districts.

A school funding law was signed by Governor Sam Brownback on April 21st. He and supporters say it raises funding by $129 million dollars.

But the Attorney for the school districts, Alan Rupe, told the judges the bill is not enough to support dismissing part of the case.

While Rupe and the state agreed the extra aide to poor school districts complies with the Kansas Supreme Court mandate.

Rupe said "do the equalization mechanisms meet the Gannon Equity Test? The answer is absolutely not."

Rupe also says judges shouldn't dismiss questions about whether the formula is fair, but the state says that part of the lawsuit should be dismissed.

In its March ruling, the Kansas Supreme Court sent the case back to District Court to consider if the state is spending enough money on public schools to meet its duty to provide education for every child.

The panel said it is ready to now consider that question. The panel did not set any dates today for further arguments. They must decide whether to consider only the information they currently have, or ask for more.

In its March ruling, the Supreme Court said the panel may consider all sources of funding, including grants and federal aid in its assessment in determining if school funding is adequate.


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