Archive for Monday, January 3, 2005

School finance timeline

January 3, 2005


Kansas school finance, a timeline:

Nov. 8, 1966: Voters approve a constitutional amendment establishing a 10-member State Board of Education having "general supervision" over public schools, with the Legislature required to "make suitable provision for finance of the educational interests of the state."

1991: In advance of trial on lawsuits challenging the Kansas school finance law, Shawnee County District Court Judge Terry Bullock rules on certain questions of law raised by the lawsuits.

1992: After Bullock's ruling but before trial is set to begin, Gov. Joan Finney and the Legislature enact a new school finance law.

1994: Kansas State Supreme Court upholds the 1992 law.

1999: A group of minority students and 14 mid-sized school districts file federal and state lawsuits challenging 1992 school finance law as discriminatory against minorities and disabled students. State seeks dismissal of suits.

2000: U.S. District Judge Monti Belot of Wichita refuses to dismiss the federal lawsuit. The state appeals to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

2001: Bullock dismisses the state lawsuit, saying there are disparities in education funding but that doesn't mean the law is unconstitutional.

2002: The U.S. 10th Circuit panel upholds Belot's ruling that a federal court can hear the case.

Jan. 24, 2003: The Kansas Supreme Court overturns Bullock's dismissal of the state case, saying plaintiffs raised new issues that were not considered in the 1994 ruling on the 1992 school law.

Sept. 22, 2003: A trial starts before Bullock in the state lawsuit.

Dec. 2, 2003: Bullock rules the state funding system is unconstitutional and gives lawmakers until July 1 to correct the system.

Jan. 12, 2004: Gov. Kathleen Sebelius unveils a proposed $314 million tax increase for schools over a three-year period.

March 8, 2004: Atty. Gen. Phill Kline appeals Bullock's decision via a bill approved by the Legislature allowing an accelerated appeal.

May 8, 2004: The Legislature adjourns after rejecting numerous proposals to increase school funding.

May 11, 2004: Bullock issues order to stop school funding June 30.

May 19, 2004: Kansas Supreme Court stops Bullock order.

Aug. 30, 2004: Oral arguments in school finance case held before the Kansas Supreme Court

Monday Jan. 3, 2005: Kansas Supreme Court says school finance system violates the Kansas Constitution and give lawmakers until April 12, 2005 to fix it.

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