Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has signed a school finance bill in response to an order from the Kansas Supreme Court, reports the Garden City Telegram. With its order, the court intends to develop a more equitable education funding system.
A new round of arguments will come next, as the court seeks to render a verdict on the bill. The legislature has a June 30 deadline to comply with the ruling. If they don’t, schools could be closed. “I have signed Senate Substitute for House Bill 2655 because I want to keep our schools open and ensure our students continue to have access to a quality education,” Brownback said.
Democrats in Topeka have vowed to fight the measure, saying it doesn’t fix the problem of poor school districts that lack funds, it only pours more money into wealthy districts. “The governor’s rubber-stamp Legislature has passed a bill that does absolutely nothing to fix the school equity crisis they created,” said Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka. An attorney for poor school districts in Kansas agreed: “What they did was beyond our worst fears. They in fact made the system worse. They left the valleys where they were and gave the potential to raise the mountaintops.”