Pulse of Northeast Johnson County: Will the K-12 funding bill meet the Supreme Court’s requirements?

Jay Senter - June 16, 2017 11:55 am
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a school funding bill into law Thursday. It now heads to the Supreme Court for review.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a school funding bill into law Thursday. It now heads to the Supreme Court for review.

With Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature Thursday, the K-12 funding bill approved by the legislature earlier this month will move on to its next challenge: the Kansas Supreme Court.

The bill split northeast Johnson County’s delegation, with Reps. Stephanie Clayton, Jarrod Ousley and Jerry Stogsdill voting against it and Rep. Melissa Rooker and Sen. Barbara Bollier voting for it. Though she voted for the bill, Rooker suggested she believed more funding would have been desirable.

“[T]he need to move the education package out of the legislature’s hands and on to the Supreme Court weighed heavily on my mind,” Rooker said of her vote. “This was the textbook example of a conflicted vote. I am not entirely happy with the contents of the bill or the level of funding, however I do think that given the nature of our process which requires compromise in committee, on the floor during debate, and in the conference committee process this bill reflects a tremendous move towards a constitutional funding plan.”

The court this morning announced it would hold a conference by phone Monday with the attorneys in the Gannon case “to discuss deadlines and identify at least the major issues arising out of the signing yesterday afternoon of Senate Bill 19, the school finance bill.”

Do you think the bill signed by Gov. Brownback is likely to pass the court’s test? Or will the legislature be back for a special session to craft a new formula this summer?

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