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Kansas Senate Narrowly Rejects Constitutional Amendment

Senator Jeff King speaking earlier this year. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

The Kansas Senate has narrowly defeated a constitutional amendment that would have prevented courts from closing public schools in the future.

Lawmakers are currently in a legal dispute with the Kansas Supreme Court over education funding that could result in schools closing July 1st. The proposal was designed to prevent courts as well as lawmakers from shuttering schools.

Republican Senator Jeff King said he pushed the amendment so that Kansas voters could consider the idea on the November ballot.

“Let the people have a voice. Let’s take this nuclear option off the table. Let’s keep our schools open,” said King.
Critics of the amendment argued it would weaken the separation of powers. They also called it a distraction from the real issue at hand, school funding.

Democratic Senator David Haley said the plan was being pushed by lawmakers who simply disagree with court rulings on school funding.

“It’s like our Legislature has a temper tantrum of sorts. We’re just pouting," said Haley. "We’re just mad and we’re stamping our feet and holding our breath."
The proposed constitutional amendment was one vote short of the 2/3rds majority needed.

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