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Kansas Lawmakers May Adjourn 2016 Session Before School Funding Ruling

File photo of House Speaker Ray Merrick by Stephen Koranda

The Kansas Supreme Court will hear arguments next month in a school funding lawsuit. At issue is whether Kansas lawmakers have complied with a previous ruling that says funding disparities between school districts need to be reduced.

Republican House Speaker Ray Merrick says he isn’t planning on waiting for the ruling before ending the session. He believes legislators helped reduce disparities when they redistributed school funding.

“I think we’ve done our job. I think it’s a good bill. Is equity ever going to be solved? I don’t think you can ever solve equity,” says Merrick.
Lawmakers return to Topeka in late April for the last part of the 2016 session. Democratic Representative John Wilson suspects if they leave town for good they’ll be back to tackle the issue with a special session.
“One way or another, we’re going to be spending time working on it, because I have a sense that the court will say that what the Legislature passed and what conservatives passed isn’t up to muster,” says Wilson.
Supreme Court justices have threatened to close Kansas schools if lawmakers don’t reduce funding disparities between districts.

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