Kansas Court Says School Block Grants are Unconstitutional

Topeka Capital Journal:
A panel of Shawnee County district court judges on Friday declared Kansas’ latest school finance bill unconstitutional both in terms of equity and adequacy.

The court says that Senate Bill 7 — the block grant bill — violates Article 6 of the Kansas Constitution.

A key issue for the court is the way the Legislature changed the two types of funding that affect poorer districts.

The bill cut more than $50 million in operating and maintenance funds exclusively from school districts that qualify for equalization funding based on having weaker tax bases.

The judges say we “withdraw our previous finding of substantial compliance,” referring to its previous decision following last spring’s finance legislation.

In that decision the court found that last spring’s school finance bill addressed equity issues. Now, the court says the finding was “premature” and “incorrect.”

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