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Court panel: 2014 education funding passes muster on equity

A three-judge panel says the state's new education funding package meets equity issues.

 

The panel was tasked with researching whether a $129 million bill passed by lawmakers filled gaps between school districts as part of the ongoing lawsuit Gannon v. Kansas. In addition to the new money, the bill also lets school districts raise their local option budget from 30 to 33 percent of their funding, although most will have to hold special elections to take advantage of that increase.

Left unanswered is the question of whether school funding is adequate. A previous lawsuit led to a Kansas Supreme Court ruling stating education funding was inadequate and an order for lawmakers to add more than $400 million to the K-12 line items. Lawmakers started complying but backed off later, with many citing the impact of the Great Depression as a major contributing factor for their decision.

The Wichita Eagle says judges haven't decided whether to use prior testimony or hold a new trial on the adequacy issue.

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