Reaction to court decision on school money

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State Supreme Court leaves door open for accoutability

The Supreme Court of Kansas has ruled funding is adequate. Another $90 million a year in each of the next five years.

It drew immediate questions from some parents and educators.

“I have not followed funding that closely,” said Amber, who was at the park in Riverside on Friday with her daughter Allyson.

“She’s going to be in second grade,” said Amber. “If you ask me some should go to the teachers. They need a higher raise.”

Lawmakers have mixed reaction to the Kansas Supreme Court ruling that says no additional money is needed beyond another $90 million a year for the next five years.

“For the first time in over ten years our classrooms will have the resources they need to give our children the opportunities that God gave them,” said (D) Representative Jim Ward of Wichita. “And the most important thing in this decision was the fact the court was going to maintain jurisdiction to ensure that the promises that we made today are fulfilled tomorrow.”

Ward says he and others will be watching to see if lawmakers fulfill their promise to fund that additional $90 Million a year.

The Republican Senate President in Kansas is Susan Wagle.

“Well we are very pleased. We put over one billion dollars in schools and we were hopeful they would accept the amount,” said Wagle. “We are very concerned that for the investment we’ve placed in schools that we have now better outcomes.”

Wagle says it is important to note that the Supreme Court of Kansas has kept jurisdiction over the case while saying the funding promised is adequate. that leaves the door open for school finance to end up at the Kansas Supreme Court again, if the funding is not delivered.

Wagle is hoping for more accountability to go along with more money.

“There’s not a lot of accountability in these statutes right now,” said Wagle. “I think we will be looking at that next year.”

One attorney working on school finance litigation for years says the courts ruled adequate funding. But he says lawmaker accountability is also important.

“If the legislature decides that they want to change up things and start cutting what they have indicating that they would fund, we will be back in court,” said Rupe. “And hopefully hold their feet to the fire of what the Kansas Supreme Court has indicated as the funding fix.”

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