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Judges: State Satisfied Part of School Lawsuit

Statehouse 3 - smallPhoto by Stephen KorandaA panel of judges says Kansas lawmakers have satisfied part of a school funding lawsuit. The judges were considering if lawmakers had complied with a state Supreme Court order to eliminate some funding disparities between wealthy and poorer school districts. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, this is just another step in years of school finance litigation.


Attorneys for the state declined to comment after the hearing, but argued that Kansas lawmakers deserve a pat on the back. They said legislators asked state education officials how much they needed to spend to comply with the order, and then spent that amount. Attorneys for a group of school districts said that even though lawmakers had taken those steps, state law still doesn’t do enough to reduce disparities between districts. The judges ruled that lawmakers have complied with the Supreme Court order. The next step in the lawsuit will be arguments over whether the state is spending enough and adequately funding education. An attorney for the school districts, Alan Rupe, calls that the main event.

“Which is where we wanted to be all along, because adequacy is a huge issue in this case. We want to roll up our sleeves and get to that issue,” says Rupe.

The court has not yet set a date for arguments about the adequacy of state school spending.

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