The Kansas Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision at 3 p.m. Monday on whether a new public school funding plan is constitutional.
Facing a court mandate to provide adequate and equitable funding, lawmakers this year passed a bill that would phase in $525 million in annual funding after five years. School districts who sued the state over the funding formula say more money is needed, pointing to a study commissioned by GOP leaders that showed the state should add as much as $2 billion to meet performance goals.
The court could accept or reject the plan, or issue a split decision.
Lawmakers were told to show their work, and critics of the new plan say it isn’t clear how it would help disadvantaged students improve efficiency or graduate. The court could order more work to be done next year while accepting the first-year funding boost.
However, the state’s high court made clear its frustration with years of legislative failings when it demanded a fix last fall.
“We will not allow ourselves to be placed in the position of being complicit actors in the continuing deprivation of a constitutionally adequate and equitable education owed to hundreds of thousands of Kansas school children,” the court said in its ruling.
If still not satisfied, it could order the treasurer to cut off funding, effectively shuttering schools, until a new plan is in place. That would trigger a special session for anxious lawmakers ahead of the Aug. 7 primary.