The battle over whether Kansas schools are adequately funded is finally — probably — over, and to say that we are relieved is an understatement.
Lawmakers have battled for nearly a decade over how much money should go to schools. The Kansas Supreme Court last week said the $90 million legislators approved this spring is enough to fulfill its constitutional requirement.
Now, the court said it will continue to keep an eye on the issue to ensure that lawmakers keep their promise to boost education dollars. We think that’s smart.
The Kansas Legislature has shown it can’t be trusted to deal with this issue on its own.
Friday marked the first time in the lawsuit the court, which interpreted the law as requiring funding to be both “adequate and equitable,” signed off on all aspects of the legislature’s funding plan.
We agree with Attorney General Derek Schmidt who said it is now time “for a thoughtful conversation about whether this process we have witnessed over the past decade is really how Kansans want school finance decisions to be made.”
In addition to the cost of dragging the decision over years, the delay caused other problems, such as whether the original proposal now adequately accounts for inflation.
Gov. Laura Kelly called the decision a win.
“It’s a victory for our kids, it’s a victory for our parents who fought day and night for their schools, she said.
“It’s a victory for the advocates and teachers who worked tirelessly to hold leaders accountable on this important issue.”