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Kansas Supreme Court to Hear School Funding Arguments

The Judicial Center, which houses the Kansas Supreme Court. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

The Kansas Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in the latest lawsuit over school funding. This is the second component of the suit, and it addresses whether the state is adequately funding schools.

Alan Rupe, an attorney representing school districts, says his side will argue that student performance has faltered and the state isn't providing enough money for students to meet specific educational goals. He says a lower court was right when it ordered hundreds of millions of dollars more in school spending.

“We hope the Supreme Court affirms what the three-judge panel found, gives the Kansas Legislature an opportunity to fix the situation and make things right,” says Rupe.
Lawyers for the state argue that Kansas lawmakers are living up to their responsibilities. The state says total education funding is likely to set a record in 2017 and Kansas students outperform standards set by the court.

In a brief, the state also argues that if the court orders lawmakers to spend a certain amount of money, that would violate the separation of powers.

“The panel improperly took on the role of education policy czar,” says the brief, referring to the lower court ruling that ordered more money be spent. “That is not the role or duty of any court.”

KPR's Stephen Koranda reports from Topeka. 


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