Kansas Responds to Threat of Lawsuit

Last Updated: August 26, 2010

This article appeared in the August 2010 Rural Policy Matters.

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A forthcoming school finance lawsuit in Kansas is already having an impact, despite that fact that the suit has not yet been filed.

Schools for Fair Funding notified the state earlier this summer of its plans to file a new lawsuit. Since then the State Board of Education has voted to increase its school funding proposal to the legislature. Board members voting for the increase referred to the move as “funding the law” while those who opposed it argued that the legislature would likely reject the proposal outright.

Both Kansas gubernatorial candidates have weighed in on funding issues, as well. Republican candidate Sam Brownback, currently a U.S. Senator, has said the formula needs to be reformed and made more transparent and that he wants to “end the cycle of litigation.” Democratic candidate State Senator Tom Holland has said he would maintain the constitutional obligation for equitable school funding placed on the state and has accused Brownback of supporting versions of the formula that were in place when an earlier school finance lawsuit was filed. Brownback has denied this claim.

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Coverage on Kansas State School Board:

Coverage on gubernatorial candidates’ positions on school funding:

Campaign statements on school funding:

Read more from the August 2010 Rural Policy Matters.