Kansas Supreme Court approves school aid law; case still open

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Supreme Court has approved an increase in spending on public schools that the Democratic governor pushed through the Republican-controlled Legislature.

But the high court declined in its ruling Friday to close the protracted education funding lawsuit that prompted the decision.

RELATED LINK | Kansas Supreme Court decision on Luke Gannon v. State of Kansas

The school finance law boosted funding roughly $90 million a year.

The court declared the new money is sufficient under the Kansas Constitution but said it was keeping the underlying lawsuit open to ensure that the state keeps its funding promises.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly had hoped the Supreme Court would end the lawsuit. Four local school districts sued in 2010.

The districts’ attorneys argued the new law would not provide enough new money after the 2019-20 school year. Education funding tops $4 billion a year.

RELATED LINK | Luke Gannon v. State of Kansas case page

Governor Laura Kelly statement regarding the Kansas Supreme Court ruling on Luke Gannon v. State of Kansas:

Today is a great day for Kansas and for our kids. Educating our kids is not just one of the best ways to address challenges facing our state, it’s also our moral and constitutional obligation. Yet for years our leaders failed to meet that obligation. That’s why I promised to be the education Governor and end the cycle of litigation that has plagued Kansas for far too long. Even before I took office I worked with my staff and the State Board of Education to create a plan to finally end this lawsuit. Today‚Äôs decision validates that plan and is a victory for Kansas. 

“I will do everything I can to hold the Legislature to its promise to fully fund our schools and avoid more legal battles over our education system. Funding our schools is about more than money and lawsuits. It’s about our kids, their hopes and dreams, and the future of Kansas. Investing in our children’s education is the best investment we can make, and as long as I am Governor I will continue to fight for our schools and our kids.”

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