Court says university student group can’t file brief in Kansas school finance case

photo by: Associated Press

Justices return from recess during hearings before the Kansas Supreme Court in Topeka, Kan., Thursday, May 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

? The Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday denied a request by an organization representing state university students to file a brief in the ongoing school finance lawsuit, Gannon v. Kansas.

The Students’ Advisory Committee, which is organized under the Kansas Board of Regents, filed a motion March 7 asking permission to file a brief so it could argue that any mandatory increases for K-12 education that may result from the Gannon case should not come at the expense of funding for higher education.

The committee had hoped to argue that the same provision of the Kansas Constitution that requires the Legislature to “make suitable provision for finance of the educational interests of the state” applies to both K-12 and higher education.

In a one-page order released Thursday, however, the Supreme Court denied that request, saying that briefs filed by outside parties cannot raise issues that were not raised during the trial of the case.

The Gannon case was tried before a three-judge panel in June 2012.

The Supreme Court later upheld the trial court’s ruling that funding levels for public schools were inadequate under the state constitution, and in October the court rejected the Legislature’s attempt to resolve the case with passage of a new funding formula that was to phase in a $293 million increase in funding over two years.

Lawmakers are now under a court-ordered deadline of April 30 to file a brief explaining what they have done to enact a funding plan that will meet constitutional muster.