Schmidt seeks partial dismissal of school funding lawsuit

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Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt on Friday asked a three-judge panel to dismiss part of a school funding lawsuit because additional funds appropriated by the Legislature and signed into law this week by Governor Brownback satisfy the requirements of the Kansas Supreme Court.

In a filing before a special three-judge panel in Topeka that is hearing the case, Schmidt noted that the recently enacted school funding bill fully funds equalization aid for school districts’ local option budgets and capital outlay budgets. Because those two matters have now been fully funded, Schmidt asked the panel to end the litigation regarding those two matters.

“The Legislature has acted timely and in good faith to fully and conclusively address the inequities in the funding of capital outlay state aid and supplemental general state aid which the Kansas Supreme Court found necessary to satisfy the requirements of Article 6, Section 6 of the Kansas Constitution,” the attorney general wrote. “Because those constitutional infirmities are now cured, there is nothing more for the panel to do with regard to the equity claims.”

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in March that current funding was inequitably distributed and also directed the three-judge panel to assess whether overall funding was “adequate” to be considered reasonably calculated to result in appropriate student learning. If the panel agrees to dismiss the equity claims, today’s filing then requests a conference to determine the schedule for addressing the adequacy issues.

A copy of the attorney general’s filing is available at http://1.usa.gov/1mM4eZq.

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