Archive for Friday, July 8, 2005

Supreme Court OKs school finance law

Schools should open on time

July 8, 2005, 11:11 a.m. Updated July 8, 2005, 3:25 p.m.


— The Kansas Supreme Court today approved the new school finance law, paving the way for schools to open on time next month.

"The present solution may not be ideal. However, it is approved for interim purposes," Chief Justice Kay McFarland wrote in the order.

The court said it would retain jurisdiction in the case since the Legislature is undertaking a study that next year could form the basis for further school funding.

The court's decision ended, for now at least, a bitter battle over school finance.

Last month, the court ordered the Legislature to increase school funding after having ruled that the current system was unconstitutionally under-funded and inequitable. When the Legislature broke a July 1 deadline, the court threatened to cut off school funding to get lawmakers to comply.

Lawmakers meeting in special legislative session finally approved a $148.4 million increase to schools on top of a $142 million increase approved in the regular legislative session.

Earlier today, attorneys argued for an hour before the court on the merits of the new legislation. Representatives on opposing sides urged the court to allow schools to open on time.

Alok Ahuja, a private attorney with Lathrop & Gage who was representing the state, said, "There is no justification for this unwarranted and virtually unprecedented step of ordering school closures."

Alan Rupe, an attorney representing plaintiff school districts that successfully sued the state, said the new funding increase was a "good-faith, first-step" effort by the state.

"There is nothing in this legislation that would cause us to stop spending and close schools," he said.

He said the final resolution of the case will be next year if the Legislature increases school funding in compliance with an education cost-study.

Dan Biles, an attorney representing the State Board of Education, also urged the court to allow schools to open on time next month.

And Biles also urged that the court let schools know as soon as possible what it will decide.

"These districts need to know where they stand, and honestly they need to know today," he said.

In January, the Kansas Supreme Court declared the school finance system unconstitutional because it was under-funded, and the method of distributing the funds was unfair to low wealth districts.


Liberty 12 years, 10 months ago

After the Kansas Constitution was changed to please the new form of government in Washington DC to include aspects of communism, during the civil war, the Kansas Constitution said that school money would come from the sale of property as income (as a one time event to fund schools). Then they added taxes to maintain the buildings that the land bought. However, they have grown this area to continue pushing this communist plank as to become a burden to the people by using taxes to expand the school system, not just maintain it. The State of Kansas was supposed to only raise enough tax to cover NORMAL expenses of running the government, not expanding the school system.

The original intent of common schools (not public schools) was to help provide education for the benefit of the people without taxing them to the point of being a burden. The Kansas post civil war government has now perverted and morphed the school system into the mess that it is today.

Suggest that people read one of the original Constitutions of Kansas like the Topeka Constitution. This version supported electors instead of voters. (Indicating the hidden/secret Federal change of the rights of the people, playing on the ignorance of the people). Web site:

Horace 12 years, 10 months ago

They need to close the schools so that thier can be homeschools. Public Schools are just big government with NEA DemonRat teachers, they shoud be fired!

Dani Davey 12 years, 10 months ago

Horace, your point is well made, grammatical mistakes and all.

BDub 12 years, 10 months ago

So Liberty, are you saying that the kids today should still be in the buildings built during the Civil War because building new ones have cost additional dollars? Sure, that makes sense, since I'm sure there's been no increase in the number of students since then and, of course it'd probably be cheaper to cram them all into old rotting buildings anyway. Right. God forbid us spending any additional dollars on anything, no matter how worthwhile.

Frankly, I'll never understand this theory that taxes are simply a "burden" that serve no purpose other than to impose hardship on the public. I simply don't believe the corresponding implication that services provided through public funds are of no value. Please, by all means, feel free to leave here and go find your mystical utopia where children go uneducated, roads go unpaved, there are no prisons, no homes for the poor, elderly and disabled, no law enforcement, no fire department, no "homeland security", etc. Just don't bother coming back after you leave here.

Taxes are the responsibility of all of us as citizens of a country and a state that provide us with necessary services. Education is one of those absolutely necessary services. "Taxes" is not a dirty word in my book, and when they're going to pay for public education of Kansas kids, they're well worth paying.

Taxes can be evil, sure - like when they go to pay Doug Mays and the "hard 20" to be obstructionists and delay vital legislation for 2 weeks. Like when they go to pay that ridiculous Board of Education idealogue from St. Francis to take a trip and stay in a posh hotel for a week for no worthwhile reason.

If there is any mess in the school system today, it's that we don't pay our teachers enough to keep them in the profession or to attract enough new teachers who are highly qualified. It's that we can't provide the quality of education we need in our schools because there isn't enough money for programs such as music and the arts. It's that the priority of our legislature has been only on cutting taxes and trying to get re-elected and not on providing true leadership that will balance the needs of our children with the desire to maintain a low tax burden.

Yes, I admit there must be a balance. But our legislature has failed to do even that - they've ignored the problem for too long and as a result they have unconstitutionally denied adequate funding to Kansas schoolchildren. This is something they should be absolutely ashamed of - not proud of, like Doug Mays and his followers are. Now that they're facing the music, they may not like it, but it's been a long time coming.

Densmore 12 years, 10 months ago

For the sake of discussion, let's assume that Liberty is correct: the original intent with regard to governmental funding of education was as he has stated. That's nice to know, I suppose, but what does that have to do with anything? Are we bound by the original intentions of folks from the nineteenth century in this matter? If so, are we bound by original intentions in all matters? The federal government originally intended to kill or imprison all Native Americans. Should that still be government's intention?

Bruce Bertsch 12 years, 10 months ago

Lets not assume Liberty is right as he continues to ignore the Northwest Territories Act and the Kansas-Nebraska Act that MANDATE "free" public education. So, unless John Adams is a communist, he is simply blowing smoke. The original constitutions would have been changed to conform with the two aforementioned acts.

The Supreme Court acted on a 1966 Amendment that requires "Fair and Suitable" funding. If you've bothered to look at how the funding is dispersed, you and the court would come to the same conclusion; it was anything but fair. The second part of the equation was suitability. Since the only study available showed schools being underfunded by about $1 Billion per year, the court had no choice but to find that the legislature had not done its job in providing funding for a suitable education. Sorry Liberty, but thats not close to communism.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 10 months ago

How many commentators on this chat and previous ones have children?

FYI - I have 3 1 started LHS @ 14 in order to play the end he did not make varsity which was a huge disappointment although he maintained a GPA of 3.8-3.9 and is now at KU.

Another began LHS @ 17 in order to facilitate an art portfolio and carried a 3.9 GPA who is attending the Kansas City Art Institute.

Until entering LHS they were homeschooled as is our youngest. We support the public school system for a number of reasons:

  1. They can be an excellent resource for homeschool families in the areas of math,science, music, industrial art and in the case of art LHS has a excellent reputation nationwide as far as higher ed schools are concerned especially among art institutes.

  2. They keep neighborhoods together and make it easier for families who do not have multiple cars and/or cannot afford a bus pass.

  3. Public schools provide good jobs for the community thus putting tax dollars into the local economy...yes it comes back.

  4. Homeschooling is not for everyone and there are a variety of reasons yet each child deserves a chance at a good education.

  5. Certainly many many families cannot afford "private schools".

  6. A variety of scholarships become available by way of public schools.

  7. It's a best bang for the tax buck.

usaschools 12 years, 10 months ago

Merrill, I have one child, preschool age.

John1945 12 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

John1945 12 years, 10 months ago

To flange:

I guarantee you, I am better educated than you and also more intelligent. However, I must admit that when confronted with tyranny and facism I am not terribly tactful.

I also question your elitist notion that people need a certain level of education to make intelligent decisions.

That's simply the kind of arrogant pap that requires liberals to impose their sick and corrupt agenda through unelected and unrepresentative judges.

linux_chick 12 years, 10 months ago

Umm... are you aware that you haven't spelled Fascism correctly yet?

linux_chick 12 years, 10 months ago

Congrats, merrill... graduating from LHS with those kinds of GPAs is impressive. I'm sure they will all do fantastic in their college careers.

I tend to lean against private schooling at the very least because of how much more racially segregated private schools are... we've got quite a ways to go forward yet in this country to begin taking steps backward.

John1945 12 years, 10 months ago

"Umm... are you aware that you haven't spelled Fascism correctly yet?"

I always wonder, but I don't get hung up about it. It's not a word I use a bunch except when talking about liberals. Why, didn't you understand the point?

linux_chick 12 years, 10 months ago

I'm just saying, maybe if you were educated more, or read books at all. Maybe then you would know how the word is spelled.

I've given your posts and links some thought. I wonder if you'll answer any of our follow up questions...

So, do you wish the South would have won the Civil War? Are you racist? And if you are, how do you justify that line of reasoning?

Oh, and I followed your website, too, that discussed the "rubbish" our high school children are subjected to. Among the "profane" list are Pulitzer Prize winners and notable classics like "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" and "Catch 22."

What was particularly interesting was the "acceptable" list which included Douglass's autobiography. This is particularly interesting since it discusses topics like slave-women being raped by their masters to produce more slaves, descriptive intentional physical marrings, the n-word, etc.

Can you explain why Kate Chopin's allusion to an orgasm places her on the vulgar list while the systematic physical torture of an entire race of people is "acceptable" and safe? Have you even read these books?

I'm all ears.

Dani Davey 12 years, 10 months ago

John, not only can you not spell fascism but you have demonstrated again and again that you don't understand what it is.

Liberty 12 years, 10 months ago


The schools would be bought as Kansas expands and sells land (not a bad plan). Therefore, not all schools would be from the civil war time period. Home schools and schools in Churches (common schools) have worked well for generations (in fact better results than we have today with public schools). Government apparently has a hard time keeping their hand out of the cookie jar once they figure out how to trick you out of your wealth...

By the way, did you register your deed to your real estate at the court house? As I understand it, the state can claim your property as theirs through the contract you just made with them. (That is why you have a certificate of title instead of the actual title, just like your car, indicating that the State thinks they own your property, even though they paid nothing for it; just like in Russia or China???). Then the state or county or city may borrow money against the value of your property. If you would like to know the amount they have borrowed against your property, look up the bonding rate on your house.

Now you can really enjoy paying those taxes!

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