Kansas’ highest court has declared that the state finally is spending enough money on its public schools under a new education funding law but refused to end a lawsuit filed nearly a decade ago because it wants to monitor future funding by the legislature.
The state supreme court last month signed off on a law enacted in April that will boost the state’s education funding by roughly $90 million a year. It was the high court’s seventh ruling in less than six years in a lawsuit filed by four districts in 2010.
Kansas spends more than $4 billion a year on its public schools—about $1 billion more than it did during the 2013-14 school year—because of the court’s decisions. Increases are promised through the 2022-23 school year, and the new law was designed to ratchet up spending to account for inflation, something the court ruled last year was necessary.
The decision not to close the case means the court retains a hammer over the governor and legislators. If the districts believe that the state has broken its promises, they can return to the high court for another order, instead of being forced to file a new lawsuit and have a lower-court trial first.
A version of this article appeared in the July 17, 2019 edition of Education Week as Kansas Supreme Court Approves Law to Fund Schools But Keeps Case Open