TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling on public school funding (all times local):
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is calling a Kansas Supreme Court decision on school funding “yet another regrettable chapter in the never ending cycle of litigation” over education funding.
Brownback issued his statement Monday after the court rejected a school funding law enacted earlier this year.
The law phased in a $293 million increase in spending on schools over two years, and the court said the spending is inadequate to provide a suitable education for every child.
But Brownback said the court should not have substituted its judgment for the Legislature’s.
The Kansas House’s top Democrat says a state Supreme Court ruling against a new school funding law is no surprise.
House Minority Leader Jim Ward of Wichita said Monday that many lawmakers in both parties identified some of the same flaws cited by the seven-member court.
The law phased in a $293 million increase in spending on public schools over two years, and the court said the spending is inadequate to provide a suitable education for every child.
Ward and other Democrats had argued the increase was far too low.
The court also said rejected the new per-student formula for distributing aid as being unfair to poor districts.
Ward is running for governor next year.
Fellow Democratic candidate Joshua Svaty praised the ruling and called for higher teacher salaries.
An attorney representing four Kansas school districts that sued the state over education funding says a state Supreme Court ruling is bittersweet.
Attorney Alan Rupe said the decision Monday by the Supreme Court confirms that public schools in Kansas are significantly underfunded. He said the Dodge City, Hutchinson, Wichita and Kansas City, Kansas, districts proved that during a lower-court trial four years ago.
But Rupe also noted that the court directed legislators to fix the problem before July 2018 and that three of its seven members would have mandated quicker action.
Rupe said significant damage has been done as the state has ignored its obligations under the Kansas Constitution.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback said his office is reviewing the decision and will comment after a full review.
The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that legislators did not increase spending on public schools enough this year and ordered a bigger increase.
The high court on Monday rejected the state’s arguments that a new law phasing in a $293 million increase in funding over two years was enough to provide a suitable education for every child. The state is projected to spend about $4.3 billion on aid to its 286 school districts during the 2018-19 school year under the new law.
The court ruled in a lawsuit filed in 2010 by four school districts and told lawmakers to write a new school funding law before July 2018.
The districts argued that the increase approved by lawmakers was at least $600 million short of what was necessary.