School Districts Intend to Sue Kansas

Last Updated: June 25, 2010

This article appeared in the June 2010 Rural Policy Matters.

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A coalition of 74 Kansas school districts has notified the state that it will file a new school funding lawsuit. Schools for Fair Funding filed a notice of their intent to sue after the legislature approved its new three-year funding plan. According to plaintiff attorneys, schools have been cut $303 million over the past 16 months. Legislators point to major decreases in revenue as justification for the cuts.

The legislature had increased school funding after a 2005 court decision in a previous school funding lawsuit, but recent cuts have returned school funding to pre-lawsuit levels.

Governor Mark Parkinson has voiced opposition to the suit and said legislators have worked hard to support schools by raising a one-cent sales tax. Schools for Fair Funding, however, has pointed out that the legislature made tax cuts during the 2010 session and that those revenues could have helped restore schools to adequate levels required by the court.

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