Kansas AG to state supreme court: Expedite review of school funding equity bill

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TOPEKA, Kansas – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt Thursday filed the legislative response to the Kansas Supreme Court’s equity ruling earlier this year in Gannon v. Kansas.

The lawsuit challenged the legislature’s funding of public schools, both in terms of the amount of funding and the fairness with which the funds are distributed.

The court earlier this year ruled the way the state distributes funds was not equitable.

Schmidt, on behalf of the State, officially transmitted to the Supreme Court Senate Substitute for House Bill 2655.  The bill is the Legislature’s response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in February that the distribution of school funds was unconstitutionally inequitable. Governor Sam Brownback signed the bill into law Wednesday.

Because the Court directed the Legislature to show how it analyzed and considered the Constitution’s requirements when crafting this bill, Schmidt also filed with the Court the legislative history of the bill, except the legislative committee minutes, which will be filed after they are adopted and approved in official form.

Schmidt requested that the Supreme Court expedite its review of the bill because of the Court’s threat to close public schools July 1 if the constitutional defects identified in the law are not remedied.

In a news release, Schmidt said, “There is clearly no need to order the schools to close, and we are asking the Court to act quickly so that worry can be eliminated as soon as possible for educators, parents and schoolchildren throughout our state.”

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