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Kansas Supreme Court Rejects Lawmakers' Bid To Fix Education Funding

The Kansas Supreme Court has rejected lawmakers' attempt to fix the state's education-funding problem. The court has said that schools will have to close if the Legislature does not correct inequity in the system by the end of June.

After reviewing the lawmakers' changes, the justices concluded, "Disparities among the districts remain inequitable and unconstitutional."

As U.S. News & World Report has explained, the justices ruled in February "that a 2015 finance law denied poor districts their fair share of more than $4 billion in annual aid to the 286 local districts."

In his dissent, Justice Lee A. Johnson agreed that the funding plan was inadequate. But he did not agree about giving the Legislature another chance to correct the law. He argued that the court should provide a remedy instead:

"In my view, maintaining the integrity of our state constitution and providing equitable educational opportunities for our children are too important for this court to be constrained by any concern that the legislature will be offended that we told it how to do its job. After all, this court has its own job to do, as well."

But lawmakers do get another chance. The next time they're scheduled to meet is Wednesday, the AP notes, "to formally adjourn their annual session."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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