The state’s largest teachers’ union has filed a legal challenge to a law that makes it easier to fire teachers. The bill eliminates a due process hearing that guaranteed most teachers a chance to appeal a dismissal. The Kansas National Education Association's attorney, David Schauner, says lawmakers included policy changes and appropriations in the same bill, and the Kansas Constitution doesn't allow that.
“The Kansas Constitution says that no bill passed by the Legislature shall contain more than a single subject. We believe, as our petition states, there has been a violation of that constitutional mandate,” says Schauner.
The lawsuit requests that the court strike down the part of the law that eliminates teacher due process hearings. The measure is included in a bill that increased education funding to poor school districts in response to a Kansas Supreme Court ruling. Governor Sam Brownback calls the lawsuit “misdirected” and “labor union politics.” He says the suit could put the additional school funding in the bill at risk.