Archive for Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Judge pushing for school funding remedy

March 24, 2004


— The judge who declared the Kansas school finance law unconstitutional said he wants to decide on a remedy soon.

State District Court Judge Terry Bullock told attorneys in the case that moving forward now with a remedy will provide school children "an equitable and adequate education in a more expeditious manner."

In December, Bullock declared the $2.6 billion school finance system unconstitutional because it under-funded education and distributed funds in a way that discriminated against minority students.

He gave the Legislature until July 1 to fix the system, but lawmakers have appealed his decision to the Kansas Supreme Court.

Despite the pending appeal, Bullock said he had latitude to consider remedies and make decisions in the case.

"If we dely the remedy proceedings until the Supreme Court enters a decision, then it could be months, if not years, before the Supreme Court has an opportunity to review this court's final decision on remedy," he wrote.

Bullock rejected a halt to his preliminary court order, saying, "In this court's view, granting a stay now will simply further delay the implementation of any remedy, thereby forever consigning thousands more Kansas minority and other vulnerable children to a lesser existence."

He ordered attorneys for the state to submit legal briefs to him by April 1 on the matter.

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