June 15 Kansas Governor Sam Brownback on
Thursday signed into law a school funding bill that will face
scrutiny by the state supreme court to determine if it fulfills
a mandate for adequacy.
The Republican governor said he approved the measure even
though the legislature "missed an opportunity to substantially
improve the K-12 funding system."
The Republican-controlled legislature faced a June 30
deadline set by the Kansas Supreme Court in March to come up
with enough funding to meet the state constitution's requirement
Alan Rupe, an attorney for school districts that filed a
funding lawsuit, said the additional $293 million lawmakers
allocated to schools over the next two fiscal years falls far
short of what is needed.
"We're grateful for the effort, but it's not enough to
achieve constitutionality," he said, noting that the Kansas
State Board of Education had proposed an $893 million, two-year
Now that the bill has become law, Rupe said he expects the
supreme court to set up a process for the state to demonstrate
how the measure complies with the constitutional requirement.
Besides finding more money for schools, Kansas lawmakers
also had to plug budget holes largely caused by falling tax
revenue. Earlier this month, the legislature overrode
Brownback's veto of a bill hiking income tax rates to raise $1.2
billion over the next two fiscal years.
(Reporting by Karen Pierog; Editing by Matthew Lewis)