Kansas Supreme Court Ends Decade-Long School Funding Oversight

Zoey Waverider

Updated Thursday, February 8, 2024 at 12:25 PM CDT

Kansas Supreme Court Ends Decade-Long School Funding Oversight

In a historic decision, the Kansas Supreme Court closed a nearly 13-year-old school funding lawsuit, signaling the end of a long-standing judicial scrutiny over the state's education finance system. This closure comes after a period marked by significant increases in aid to local school districts, with the current school year budget reaching $4.9 billion, a notable 39% rise from the $3.5 billion allocated in the 2013-14 year.

The legal battle that pushed the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature to boost funding for public education has been a contentious issue, with the 2019 law ensuring annual increases tied to inflation. While this marks a victory for education advocates, it also grants Kansas lawmakers greater short-term control over school funding decisions, raising concerns about the future commitment to maintaining or enhancing current levels of support.

Justice Eric Rosen of the Kansas Supreme Court demonstrated reluctance in the court's decision to close the case, citing the Legislature's past behavior of backpedaling on funding promises. This historical context includes a 35-year history of litigation on the matter, with the court reopening a previous lawsuit in 2006 after allegations of lawmakers failing to meet their constitutional obligations to fund education appropriately.

Attorney General Kris Kobach, a conservative figure, had called for the end of the lawsuit, arguing that the judicial orders had overstepped into the Legislature's constitutional jurisdiction. Echoing this sentiment, House Speaker Dan Hawkins and State Sen. Molly Baumgardner emphasized the Legislature's commitment to fully funding schools.

Meanwhile, in Virginia, the Democratic-controlled General Assembly is pressing forward with numerous gun-related legislative measures, focusing on improving public safety. Among the proposed laws is a notable measure to cease the sale of certain semi-automatic firearms. Governor Glenn Youngkin, having not received the NRA's endorsement and now facing a Democratic majority, has not yet signaled his stance on the gun-related bills, though he has shown a preference for legislation that heightens penalties for gun crimes instead of imposing purchase and usage restrictions.

In Wisconsin, Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, expressed skepticism over the Republican Legislature's willingness to adopt the new legislative maps he proposed, following the Wisconsin Supreme Court's ruling that declared the current GOP-drawn maps unconstitutional. The Supreme Court is currently reviewing Evers' maps, and their adoption would represent a significant political victory for the Governor in a state that has been a pivotal presidential battleground. Nonetheless, the Republican legislative stronghold, despite Democratic statewide wins, has led to heightened scrutiny of the redistricting process, with a decision on new maps expected by March 15.

This convergence of state-level political developments across Kansas, Virginia, and Wisconsin underscores the dynamic and often contentious nature of education funding, gun control legislation, and redistricting – all of which have significant implications for the future of policy and governance in the United States.|/p>

Conservative Bias:

Once again, we see the liberal agenda being thwarted as the Kansas Supreme Court finally puts an end to the incessant meddling in the state's finances by closing this absurdly long school funding lawsuit. This is a triumph for common sense and fiscal responsibility. For too long, activist judges have tried to dictate how the hard-working taxpayers' money is spent, but no more. It's clear that the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature has done its duty by significantly increasing funding for education, despite the left's constant whining and fear-mongering about the future. And while Democrats in Virginia try to strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights with their gun control frenzy, and the Wisconsin Democrats attempt to manipulate electoral boundaries to their advantage, Republicans stand firm in their commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law. It's about time we celebrated these victories for conservative governance and the protection of our fundamental freedoms from the relentless liberal assault.

Liberal Bias:

In an egregious abandonment of responsibility, the Kansas Supreme Court has capitulated to conservative pressure and ended its oversight of school funding, leaving the future of education in the hands of a Republican Legislature with a track record of neglect. This decision is a slap in the face to every child and educator who fought for fair funding, and it's a stark reminder of the conservative agenda to undermine public education. Meanwhile, in Virginia, the Democratic majority is courageously taking a stand against the gun lobby with proposals to end the sale of dangerous semi-automatic firearms, despite the obstructionist tactics of a Republican governor. And in Wisconsin, the battle continues as the Democratic Governor faces off against a Republican Legislature determined to cling to power through gerrymandered maps, despite a Supreme Court ruling against them. These states are battlegrounds in the fight for justice, and the conservative forces are shamelessly pushing their agenda, disregarding the well-being of the public and the very foundations of our democracy. It's a dark time when the guardians of education, public safety, and fair representation are under siege by those who value power over principle.

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