Budget & Finance

To Avoid School-Funding Shutdown, Kansas Governor Calls Special Session

By Daarel Burnette II — June 07, 2016 1 min read

There appears to be some movement in the showdown over K-12 funding in Kansas. After the state’s supreme court last month once again ruled that the state’s funding formula is inequitable and threatened to shut off funding to the schools as of next month, Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, announced on Twitter Tuesday morning that he will call a special session to attempt to satisfy the court.

For an entire week after the May 31 Gannon v. Kansas decision, the state’s political leaders called the judges names, threatened to defy the ruling, and left school leaders researching ways to keep the schools open without state money.

The state doesn’t have much to spend after a series of income tax cuts in 2012 and 2013, and the state’s education department estimates it would cost Kansas around $51 million to keep the schools open. But the majority of the legislature is up for re-election this fall, and parents and teachers in the Sunflower State won’t be happy if schools aren’t open come July 1.

This week, the state’s Democrats started a petition that would force a special session. Some Republicans have discussed changing the constitutional language so that the court can’t shut down schools.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.