Kansas court says hike in school aid not enough - KCTV5

Kansas court says hike in school aid not enough

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The Topeka capitol building. (KCTV5 File Photo) The Topeka capitol building. (KCTV5 File Photo)
TOPEKA, KS (AP) -

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.

Brownback released another statement later on Monday:

“Today’s court decision is yet another regrettable chapter in the never ending cycle of litigation over Kansas school funding. The court should not substitute its decision for that of the legislature.”

On behalf of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, President and CEO Alan Cobb released the following statement:

"The Kansas Chamber respects the role of the judicial branch as part of the three distinct and independent branches of the Kansas state government. However, to rule that the new school funding formula that's been in place barely three months is unconstitutional and that funding is inadequate but won't give a specific dollar amount as to what is actually adequate shows this is simply about politics. Meanwhile, other essential state services such as mental health, transportation, corrections and higher education suffer.

The Kansas Legislature spent countless hours holding hearings, talking with constituents, parents, and educators and debating how to best fund our schools. They are the ones in the best position to decide what is best for our schools and how much our schools need.

Members of the Kansas Chamber want students in our state to be well educated - they are the workforce of tomorrow. Student test scores as well as graduation, career and college preparedness rates show that the endless cycle of litigation isn't serving them well. The Chamber stands ready to be a partner for innovation to find creative solutions that result in well-educated students who are ready to step into productive lives in the Kansas workforce."

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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