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Solution to KS School Funding Lawsuit Unclear

Statehouse sunset 2 - small(Photo by Stephen Koranda)It’s not clear how lawmakers will comply with a Kansas Supreme Court ruling that says the state has created inequalities between schools districts. The ruling says lawmakers violated the Kansas Constitution by cutting funds that help equalize school district budgets. The group that filed that lawsuit, and some lawmakers, say they believe the solution is to restore more than $100 million in education funds. Paul Davis, from Lawrence, is the top Democrat in the Kansas House and a candidate for governor.

But Republican Governor Sam Brownback, and Republican legislators, say they are happy with the outcome because it gives lawmakers options for solving the disparity. They say the state could rewrite the equity laws or pursue another solution.  Brownback hailed the decision because it doesn't directly order legislators to spend more on education.

The Supreme Court did not rule on the larger issue of whether Kansas is adequately funding education. Justices say a lower court used the wrong test to determine adequacy, so the lower court will have to consider it again.


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