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State Offers Alternative to Closing Schools in Kansas School Funding Lawsuit

Photo by Stephen Koranda

Kansas Supreme Court justices are mulling how to respond in a lawsuit over school funding. Justices previously said they could close schools if funding disparities among districts aren’t reduced. But as Stephen Koranda reports, an attorney Tuesday offered an alternative option.

An attorney representing the state, Stephen McAllister, says if justices rule against the state they could strike down just part of the Kansas school funding system and let classes start in the fall.
“That is not an attractive option to the state, but it is more attractive than striking down the entire system,” says McAllister.
McAllister says schools could function without all of their normal funding while lawmakers decide how to respond.

An attorney representing schools, Alan Rupe, says that could cost districts 25 percent of their funding and districts would have little time to prepare.
“It has disastrous consequences. I would suggest some other method that gives the Legislature more specific guidance,” says Rupe.
Justices could hand down a decision in the lawsuit in the coming weeks. 

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