Friday, February 12, 2016

Court Gives Deadline to Fix Kansas School Financing

By JULIE BOSMAN, NYT
FEB. 11, 2016

The Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday gave the state until June 30 to fix its system of financing public schools, or face a court-ordered shutdown before the next school year begins.

Rather than improve the way it doled out state money, the court ruled, the Republican-controlled Legislature has failed to cure inequities between rich and poor school districts.

“The legislature’s unsuccessful attempts to equitably, i.e., fairly, allocate resources among the school districts not only creates uncertainty in planning the 2016-2017 school year but also has the potential to interrupt the operation of Kansas’ public schools,” the court said.

The decision is the latest blow to Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, and the state Legislature, which will probably have to find tens of millions of dollars in its budget for additional education funding.

Kansas is already facing deep fiscal woes in the wake of Mr. Brownback’s decision to cut taxes, which he predicted would help bolster the state economy. Revenue has fallen short of projections and he and lawmakers are scrambling to fill a roughly $200 million budget gap before the close of the session.

(More here.)

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