Archive for Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Schools for Fair Funding lawsuit filed today

November 2, 2010

The general election won’t be the only item of major note going on today, Nov. 2. The lawsuit arguing the state is drastically under-funding public education will be filed today, as well, says USD 204 Superintendent Robert VanMaren.

VanMaren announced Monday during the district’s board meeting that the Schools for Fair Funding lawsuit would be filed in conjunction with the general election. Bonner Springs-Edwardsville USD 204 joined with SFFF last year.

The lawsuit claims that the amount of funding provided by the state for public schools, which VanMaren said was well below what districts should be receiving, is unconstitutional.

A similar and highly-publicized lawsuit was brought against the state in 2005 and resulted in a close to $150 million increase for state schools. During that case, the Kansas Supreme Court threatened to close all public schools if the Legislature didn’t pony up the $148.4 million increase ordered by the court.

Though he said it could take three years before districts see any funding increases as a result of the lawsuit, VanMaren said suing the state was a necessary step for schools to get the money they need.

“If the state wants us to provide quality education for all students in the state of Kansas, I think it’s essential,” VanMaren said. “If they’re going to meet the state Constitution in Kansas, than it’s required.”

• More of this story can be found in the Nov. 4 issue of The Chieftain.

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