Attorneys for Kansas could face a potential uphill battle beginning today in the Kansas Supreme Court as they prepare to argue that legislators increased spending on public schools enough this year to provide a suitable education for all children.
The state’s high court is hearing arguments today from attorneys about a new school finance law phasing in a $293 million increase in education funding over the next two years. The justices ruled in March that the state’s the previous $4 billion a year in aid to its 286 school districts was inadequate and unconstitutional.
Under the new funding formula, all KD-Country 94 listening area schools, except Southern Cloud, will see increased funding in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. USD 273-Beloit alone will gain over half a million dollars in additional funding compared to their funding levels under the former block grant funding mechanism.
The court’s ruling against the former funding levels in March was the latest in a string of decisions favoring four school districts that sued Kansas going back to 2010.
The state argues that the increase is significant, and the new dollars are mainly focused on helping under-performing students.
Lawyers for the school districts insist that lawmakers fell at least $600 million short or where they feel the funding levels should be.