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Court of Appeals to hear education funding arguments Tuesday

Arguments are planned Tuesday as the Kansas Court of Appeals considers how the state should proceed with education funding.

Judges are being asked to determine whether state lawmakers deliberately shorted K-through-12 funding -- or did their best to balance expenditures in difficult financial times -- when they decided against adding $440 million to public education.

A Shawnee County District Court panel said the state was "unconstitutionally eroding" funds when it decided against increasing the base state per pupil from around $3,800 to almost $4,500. The state appealed the ruling, saying the Great Recession forced cuts to hit all aspects of state government.

This isn't the first round of significant debate over education funding at the state level. The Kansas Supreme Court ordered lawmakers to increase funding in 2006 after a lengthy court battle. The case was refiled three years ago.

A decision may be reached by the end of the year, just in time for lawmakers to consider action when the 2014 legislative session begins in January.

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