Education funding has taken center stage on the first day of the 2013 Kansas legislative session. Lawmakers returned to Topeka just days after a district court ruled that the state needs to increase school funding. Advocates for education joined a rally at the Statehouse and praised the ruling. Karen Godfrey is president of the Kansas National Education Association. She hopes the ruling will send a message to state lawmakers.
The new speaker of the Kansas House is Ray Merrick, a Republican from Stilwell. He says the ruling would amount to a tax increase on Kansans. Merrick says lawmakers need to take more than just funding into account.
The state of Kansas will appeal the district court's ruling, but a decision by the Kansas Supreme Court is not likely to be issued before the end of the 2013 legislative session.