School Finance Litigation

The story of school finance litigation in Kansas begins with Montoy v. State of Kansas, in which the plaintiffs claimed that the State was violating the Kansas constitution by failing to adequately fund public schools.   After the Kansas Supreme Court issued a decision inMontoy, the Kansas legislature was supposed to increase school funding by over $756 million.  However, before Montoy could fully be implemented, the State cut school funding by over $500 million. That decrease in funding prompted the filing of the current case, Gannon v. State of Kansas, in November 2010.

Gannon was presented to a three-judge panel in June 2012.  The five week process included 17 days of trial and 44 witnesses.  After the conclusion of testimony, the panel found:

  • A .83% increase in district spending results in a 1% increase in district performance; almost a 1:1 ratio;
  • That the Kansas legislature disregarded the considerations in Article 6 that require adequate funding of public education; and
  • That the plaintiffs established “beyond any question” that the public education system in Kansas is “unconstitutionally underfunded.”

An appeal was filed by the State after the panel issued its ruling.  The appeal will be heard by the Kansas Supreme Court on October 8, 2013.

If you are interested in more information about the school finance litigation, you may consult any of the following web sites:

A page from the law firm serving as General Counsel for the organization Schools for Fair Funding, Inc.: http://www.robblaw.com/html/school_finance.html

A link to the entire Gannon decision issued by the panel:  http://www.shawneecourt.org/DocumentCenter/View/457

http://www.educationjustice.org/states/kansas.html