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More Legal Wrangling Ahead in Kansas Over School Funding

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

Kansas lawmakers avoided a legal fight shutting down schools at the beginning of this month. Legislators adjusted the budget to comply with a Supreme Court ruling. But as Stephen Koranda reports, there’s more legal wrangling ahead in a lawsuit over school funding.

Lawmakers resolved what’s known as the equity question in the lawsuit: whether Kansas schools are be funded fairly. Still coming up is a financially much larger part of the lawsuit, the adequacy question. Is the state spending enough on schools?

While approving the fix for the equity portion of the lawsuit, Republican Senator Ty Masterson hinted at the coming fight over adequacy.
“The real constitutional crisis is going to come when the other shoe drops from the court and they come to a position that would require massive tax increases, massive spending increase. At that point, I’m quite certain there’ll be a very different reaction out of this body,” says Masterson.
Masterson is insinuating that state Supreme Court justices could say lawmakers aren’t spending enough on schools and hundreds of millions of dollars more are needed. Arguments in the adequacy portion of the lawsuit could come later this year. 

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