Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has asked the Kansas Supreme Court to stay the order of a three-judge panel that ruled public school funding unconstitutional.
Schmidt also asked the Supreme Court to order mediation between the state and Schools for Fair Funding, the lobbying group that sued the state for more public school funding. Only four districts were listed in the actual lawsuit, but dozens of Kansas school districts including the Gardner Edgerton School District are dues-paying members of the organization. The organization assesses membership dues based on student population. For example, in 2010, USD 231 paid dues of $3.20 per student or approximately $16,000 in membership fees.
Last month, a three-judge panel determined that the state’s current school funding is not suitable. The court set a basement for funding that will add approximately $440 million to public schools.
Gov. Sam Brownback said he hopes the Kansas Legislature will determine a suitable provision for financing schools.
“I believe we owe it to Kansas taxpayers, parents, teachers and students to examine every available avenue to resolve this dispute to the satisfaction of all involved,” he said. “It is my hope that through staying the decision and allowing all interested parties to give input on how to best fund our schools and get more money into the classroom, our state will maintain its reputation of having great schools and great educational opportunities for our children.”
— Danedri Thompson