Supreme court’s ruling satisfies area school chiefs
The Kansas Supreme Court decided Friday to dismiss the school finance lawsuit that has been threatening the state's public school system since 1999.
In a 4-2 decision, the court ruled that the three-year plan approved by the legislature in May to increase school funding by $466 million, including $194.5 million for next school year, was constitutional.
"I'm pleased with the appropriations that the legislature has made here over the last few years," said Richard Erickson, superintendent of USD 464 in Tonganoxie. "I'm pleased and thankful and I feel blessed we've had the increased funding we've had over the last few years and will continue in future years."
Erickson said he was happy the state Supreme Court decided to support the Legislature and provide the schools with the much-needed funding, especially for the more at-risk students.
An at-risk student is defined by the Kansas statutes as someone who is not meeting the requirements to move on to their next grade level, someone who is a potential dropout, someone who is failing two or more courses or someone who is not reading at their appropriate grade level.
Bob Albers, superintendent of USD 458, Basehor-Linwood, said he was also grateful for the increased funding. He said the district would know the exact amount it would receive this year after the budget workshop scheduled for Wednesday. He estimated that it would be about $408,000.
He said he was mostly relieved that the case has been finally "put to rest" and the district wouldn't have to deal with more delays.
"As a district and as an administrator I'm pleased that the Supreme Court has decided that the case has come to an end and that the legislature's action has supplied the demands of the court," he said.