skip to nav skip to content
The school funding lawsuit that is set to force the Kansas Legislature to provide millions of dollars to districts is in a waiting game.
John Robb, part of the general council for the Schools for Fair Funding, addressed the Wichita Public Schools Board of Education about the impact of the lawsuit.
Robb said the court ruling from the three-judge panel that state funding was not adequate and unconstitutional to schools will cost about $515 million to fix - including $59 million for Wichita.
"This wasn't a close call," Robb said. "It was a strong opinion all the way through."
The state appealed the ruling later that day, asking for a stay. Robb said that is the equivalent of a "pause button" on the ruling. Schools for Fair Funding has opposed the stay. If the district court does not approve the stay, the state will likely then ask the Kansas Supreme Court to grant it, Robb said.
Board member Betty Arnold said she is concerned the state is "kicking the can" down the road, trying to avoid the issue and pass it off for future governments.
Increases in funding were set for 2007, 2008 and 2009, totaling $755 million. Robb said that in 2009, most money was provided before the state cut $511 million. That sparked the lawsuit.
"These increases were required to come into compliance," he said.
Robb said legislators had an opportunity to fix past cuts by pushing some of its ending cash balance this year toward schools, but chose not to.
"I don't think anybody seriously believes that the courts have outstepped their bounds," Robb said.