The Kansas Supreme Court recently declared the Legislature’s school funding formula unconstitutional, but a collective sigh of relief was breathed upon learning schools wouldn’t close nor would a special session be needed.
The speculative questions about the bill before the court were answered after Monday’s ruling citing, “Under the facts of this case, the State has not met the adequacy requirement in Article 6 of the Kansas Constitution.”
The court accepted the Legislature’s funding formula but rejected the way the bill calculated for inflation.
Recognizing the investments the Legislature has made to increase school funding in the past two legislative sessions, the court granted lawmakers another year to come back and appropriate additional dollars to account for inflation. Fortunately for taxpayers, a special session is unnecessary, but the Legislature still has work to do.
We’re glad the court reached a decision and provided more specific guidelines for a fix without requiring the Legislature to reconvene before the 2019 session. Yet it can’t be overstated that the solutions for the funding formula calculations were offered during the 2018 session by Rep. Ed Trimmer, D-Winfield. Trimmer brought forth an amendment on more than one occasion to apply the cost of living index across the entire formula. …
It’s unfortunate legislators missed the opportunity to do the right thing in the 2018 session. We’ll repeat the process in 2019 with the expectation that Democrats and Republicans will come together to fix the formula calculation so we can move past the endless cycle of litigation.
The court’s ruling was a best-case scenario given the circumstances. …
Funding our children’s education shouldn’t be something that happens only at the behest of the judicial branch. Strong schools are critical to building future generations and ensuring thriving communities. It’s time the Legislature take the court seriously, allocate the resources for our youths and then return its focus to other important Kansas issues. Meanwhile, our schools can get to work investing their additional resources into staff and programming that will offer a quality education to every Kansas student. …
We’re eager to see the results of these investments and banking on measurable outcomes that give all students opportunity for advancement of their dreams.
— GateHouse Kansas