TOPEKA, Kan. — 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.
Top Republican leaders in the Kansas Senate are defiant in the face of a state Supreme Court ruling saying the state’s education funding remains inadequate.
Senate President Susan Wagle of Wichita, Vice President Jeff Longbine of Emporia and Majority Leader Jim Denning of Overland Park issued a joint statement Monday saying the court is making what they called an “unrealistic demand” for more spending.
An education funding law enacted this year 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.
The three GOP leaders said the court showed “clear disrespect for the legislative process.” They also vowed to oppose raising taxes as lawmakers did this year.
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.
The Kansas Supreme Court is preparing to rule on whether a new public school funding law enacted by legislators this year complies with the state constitution.
The court announced it would issue its ruling Monday afternoon on whether the law is sufficient in phasing in a $293 million increase in aid to public schools over two years.
The court also is considering whether the per-student formula established by legislators distributes the money fairly so that poor school districts don’t fall behind wealthier ones.
The justices ruled in March that the state’s then-$4 billion a year in aid to its 286 school districts was inadequate. Four school districts that sued the state in 2010 argued that lawmakers needed to phase in an increase of at least $900 million over two years.