The Kansas Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the state’s system of funding primary and secondary public schools falls short of an adequacy requirement in the state constitution.
The high court said it was delaying enforcement of its unanimous ruling until the end of June to give the legislature time to respond.
It warned that if the state fails to come up with a funding system that complies with the constitution by the June 30 deadline, the court will move to void the current method of school finance.
Kansas spends more than $4 billion a year on schools, with most of the money coming from the state general fund. During oral arguments before the court in September, lawyers for the four districts that filed the lawsuit claimed another $430 million to $1.4 billion would be required to meet the state constitution’s requirement for adequate funding.
“It is incumbent upon the legislature to react to the ruling quickly and in a way that puts the funding levels into constitutional compliance,” said a statement from Alan Rupe, an attorney representing the plaintiff school districts.
The ruling comes at a bad time for the Kansas budget. Tax cuts enacted in 2012 have gouged a hole in the budget as revenue failed to meet monthly estimates, although February marked a fourth straight month that collections met or exceeded projections.
A move in the state legislature to boost revenue by raising tax rates and eliminating a business exemption failed last week when the Senate was unable to override Governor Sam Brownback’s veto.
S&P Global Ratings cited the state’s structural budget pressures and reliance on one-time revenue measures when it revised the outlook on the state’s AA-minus credit rating to negative from stable last month.
(Reporting by Karen Pierog and Tracy Rucinski in Chicago; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis)
WATCH: Climate activists chant ‘failure of leadership’ at Tom Perez after DNC votes against climate debate
Activists walked out of the Democratic National Committee's summer meeting in San Francisco after the organization voted against allowing a climate change debate during the 2020 primary.
DNC Chair Tom Perez imposed strict rules on the debates, which prevented a climate change debate from occurring. Climate activists had forced a vote, hoping to overrule the party boss.
"The Democratic Party needs the energy, motivation, and organizing capacity of young people to defeat Trump in 2020. But Tom Perez keeps shooting the party in the foot by rejecting that energy and turning it away," the Sunrise Movement said in a statement.
DNC votes against allowing a climate change debate amongst the 2020 hopefuls
Trump’s threat to ‘hereby’ force manufacturers to do his bidding stomped by legal analyst
President Donald Trump is claiming extraordinary powers in his escalating trade war with China.
On Friday, Trump demanded that American companies look for alternatives to China.
"Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies home and making your products in the USA," Trump tweeted.
Of course, the president has no power to order such a thing.
Trump then announced massive tariffs on China, citing the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977.