State Supreme Court decision could impact budget

TOPEKA (KSNT) — A decision from the Kansas Supreme Court made Friday afternoon could impact next year’s state budget.

The court is hearing an appeal from the state that it has under-funded public education by as much as $400 million in recent years.

On Friday, the court decided to split the case into two parts: One about whether the state is applying funding equally among school districts (“Equity Portion”) and another about whether the state is giving enough money to Kansas’ public school (“Adequacy Portion”).

The Kansas Supreme Court’s order states:

Article 6, section 6(b) of the Kansas Constitution provides that “[t]he legislature shall make suitable provision for finance of the educational interests of the state.” Article 6 contains at least two components: equity and adequacy.”

It continues:

“In January 2013, the district supreme court panel held that the state created unconstitutional, wealth-based disparities among school districts. . .  The panel considered action taken by the legislature during the 2014 and 2015 legislative session and ultimately concluded the State had not cured these failures to meet article 6.

Also, in January 2013, the panel held the State failed to meet the adequacy requirement contained in Article 6 by underfunding public education between fiscal years 2009 and 2012.”

The next oral arguments won’t occur until early November.

You can view the full Supreme Court order with the schedule for when briefs will need to be submitted here.

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