Kansas Spending on Its Schools Supreme Court Says is Too Low

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Black, Hispanic and poor students were especially harmed by the lack of funding, pointing to low test scores and poor graduation rates. The court ruled that the Legislature had failed to equitably fund public schools citing “intolerable and simply unfair, wealth-based disparities among the districts.”.  The justices set a June 30 deadline for the legislature to pass a new funding plan. Failure to find additional funding would cause a court-ordered shutdown of schools. This fight has been going on since 2014.

The court did not say how much money was needed. Fellow Republicans in the state legislature passed a bill that would have increased taxes. Governor Brownback vetoed it. Mr. Brownback has made deep tax cuts both in 2012 & 2013.  Mr. Brownback criticized the ruling stating, “It is unfortunate that the Kansas Supreme Court has put the education of Kansas students at risk.” Since Mr. Brownback took office state aid has declined to $3,800 per pupil from $4400.  Because of the cuts some rural districts have disbanded, some schools have closed and six districts ended the school year early.

The state legislature has threatened to suspend all funding for the courts.

Children and their education are being used as pawns by the Governor and the State Legislature. You decide, who has put the Kansas students at risk – the governor or the Supreme Court?