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KANSAS

 

Montoy v. State, 112 P.3d 923, 279 Kan. 817 (Kan. 2005) (“Montoy III”).

The Kansas Supreme Court held that the legislature’s appropriation of $142 million in response to the Montoy II decision was not sufficient to bring the state’s school finance system into compliance with its duty under the state constitution to provide "suitable provision" for education. The Court required the legislature to increase the funding level by $285 million above the prior year’s level by July 1, 2005. The Court further directed that funding would have to be substantially raised for FY 2006 based on the legislature’s own cost study, but granted the legislature the opportunity to devise a new funding formula based on a new cost study it had authorized.

 

Montoy v. State, 278 Kan. 769, 102 P.3d 1160 (Kan. 2005) (“Montoy II”).

The Kansas Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s finding that the state’s school funding system violated the education clause of the state constitution. The Court found that the record in the case established that the funding formula failed to provide adequate resources to enable a suitable education for students in middle- and large-sized districts with a high proportion of minority, at-risk and special education students. The Supreme Court stayed the issuance of a mandate, gave the legislature until April 12, 2005 to correct the constitutional infirmity, and retained jurisdiction of the case.

 

Montoy v. State, 275 Kan. 145, 62 P.3d 228 (Kan. 2003) (“Montoy I”).
In an action by students and school districts challenging the constitutionality of the state school finance statute, the Kansas Supreme Court reversed the trial court decision granting summary judgment dismissing plaintiffs' complaint, ruling that genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether the legislature had made suitable provision for the finance of education in accordance with the Kansas Constitution, and whether the gaps between the performance of whites and minorities and students in free and reduced lunch programs and those not in such programs evidenced denials of equal protection and due process rights under the Kansas Constitution.

 

Robinson v. Kansas, 295 F.3d 1183 (10th Cir. 2002).

Earnestine Robinson, on behalf of her minor children, filed suit along with other plaintiffs against the State of Kansas, its governor, and two state education officials challenging the state's school financing scheme. Plaintiffs claimed that the Kansas State school financing results in less funding per pupil, in schools where there are more minority students. The case has not gone to trial yet.

 

Mock v. State of Kansas, No. 91CV1009 (Shawnee County District Court 1991).

The School District Equalization Act (SDEA), established in 1973 as a result of Caldwell v. State, was challenged by different plaintiffs.  In an "opinion in advance of trial," the district court held that the education clause of the state constitution required the legislature to furnish each child with an educational opportunity that is equal to that made available to every other child.  The court noted that this did not necessarily require equal expenditures, but that disproportionate distribution of resources would require a "rational educational explanation."  The court further ruled that the education clause mandates "suitable" financing for education, defined as sufficient funding to provide a minimally adequate education for all children.  In response to this decision, the governor created a special task force to devise a new school finance system. More information is available at http://www.schoolfunding.info/states/ks/lit_ks.php3.

 

Caldwell v. State of Kansas, No. 50616 (Johnson County District Court 1972).

A trial court found the Kansas public education funding system unconstitutional.  More information is available at http://www.schoolfunding.info/states/ks/lit_ks.php3.