Supreme Court Rules State Must Fix School Funding
State lawmakers have been given until the end of June to write a new law that will fairly disperse funding to Kansas public school districts. The state Supreme Court named June 30th the deadline for the new legislature, as the current system was found to be a contradiction to existing state laws outlined in Article six of the Kansas Constitution. Article six states that lawmakers are required to "make suitable provision for finance of the educational interests of the state."
According to the Supreme Court, the state of Kansas has not been dispersing funds to school districts fairly under the current Block Grant system, adopted in 2015, which left poor districts $54 million short on funds.
The 2015 law was initially adopted as a temporary solution to a former per-student method of distributing funds, which provided over $4 billion to schools in favor of Block Grants. The system was intended to allow lawmakers time to create a new plan for funding the state’s 268 public schools. The temporary legislature, which is set to expire in July of next year, was ruled unconstitutional in a unanimous vote.
The Thursday ruling is a result of a lawsuit that four Kansas public school districts have been pursuing since 2010. Wichita, Dodge City, Hutchinson and Kansas City brought up the suit, stating that the districts are not being given the funding that the state Constitution entitles them to.
Read the full opinion here.