Constitutional Showdown Looming Over Kansas and Texas

Jun 7, 2013

Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle
Credit Dion Lefler/The Wichita Eagle

State legislatures are constitutionally mandated to provide adequate funding for schools.  Courts in both Kansas and Texas recently ruled this directive is not being met. 

In Kansas, a Supreme Court order to increase school funding could be waiting for legislators when they return to Topeka in January.  The case, ruled on by a special three-judge panel, is on appeal which the Kansas Supreme Court is expected to uphold.  Dion Lefler, from The Wichita Eagle, recently quoted state Senate President Susan Wagle as saying, "I'm quite worried about next year's session, in that we will most likely be in a constitutional crisis."   

Judge John Dietz
Credit Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas Tribune

In Texas, Judge John Dietz ruled the Texas school funding system is unconstitutional, and is not providing enough money for schools to meet state achievement standards.  Dietz scheduled a hearing for June 19 to hear arguments from both sides.  A KUT News article by Kate McGee said the case is expected to be appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.