Kansas Supreme Court To Hear School Finance Case


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.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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