« NGA Organizes Coalition of Education Groups to Monitor ESSA Implementation | Main | Washington Governor Signs 'Plan-for-a-Plan' to Address Funding Lawsuit »

Kansas Governor Says Work Underway in School Funding Dispute

During a recent press conference, Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback said he is working to figure out a plan to address the recent  Kansas Supreme Court ruling that deemed the state's funding formula inequitable, according to the Kansas City Star.  

The court ruled that Brownback's move two years ago to replace the state's funding formula with a block grant formula left the state's districts having to raise local property taxes. The court threatened to shut down the entire public school system if the legislature doesn't come up with a remedy before July 1. 

Brownback said during a press conference Thursday he was meeting with legislators and the state's lawyers over the issue. He estimated that satisfying the court could cost the state $100 million, just "a fraction" of the state's $4 billion education budget, according to a press release by the Kansas Association of School Boards.

"I take (the supreme court) seriously on the issue of equalization," Brownback said. 

Shortly after the ruling, Brownback, along with several Republican legislators, said an "activist court" was attempting to shut down the schools.   

On Thursday, when asked if the court was bluffing, he said, "I'm not going to comment on that." 

The state legislature didn't address the ruling in its most recent revisions of the budget, according to the Kansas City Star.  

"The court's made a ruling, and they put a hard deadline on, it but I think you have to respect the process," Brownback said.

Educators in the state complained that, buried in the budget, the legislature earmarked $50,000 to pay for a lawyer to represent it in future school funding cases.

Don't miss another State EdWatch post. Sign up here to get news alerts in your email inbox. And make sure to follow @StateEdWatch on Twitter for the latest news from state K-12 policy and politics. 

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments