Kansas Supreme Court OKs school funding law; case still open

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Students crowd the hallway at Maize South Elementary on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, as they return to classes after lunch recess.  The district says it will need three more classrooms in this school next year. Students crowd the hallway at Maize South Elementary on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, as they return to classes after lunch recess. The district says it will need three more classrooms in this school next year.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP/KAKE) -

The Latest on the Kansas Supreme Court's newest ruling in a protracted lawsuit over funding for public schools (all times local):

10:25 a.m.

An attorney representing four local public school districts in Kansas is promising to continue monitoring the state's education funding in the wake of a state Supreme Court ruling.

The high court declared Friday that the state's funding is adequate following the passage of law this year that boosted it roughly $90 million a year.

Four districts sued the state in 2010 and argued that the new law still wasn't adequate. Attorney Alan Rupe said he is disappointed in the result.

But Rupe said it's a "huge victory" that the Supreme Court declined to end the lawsuit so that the justices can ensure that the state keeps its funding promises. Rupe said the districts will go back to the Supreme Court if they feel the state is not meeting its commitments.

10 a.m.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and another top Democrat are cheering a state Supreme Court decision approving a new law boosting funding for public schools.

The high court ruled Friday that with the new law, the state is adequately funding education. The new law was championed by Kelly and boosts the state's spending on schools by roughly $90 million year.

Kelly called it "a great day for Kansas and for our kids." Kansas House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer of Wichita called the law "a critical accomplishment."

The court declined to close the education funding lawsuit that prompted the ruling. The justices said they want to make sure that the state keeps its promises. Kelly said she intends to make sure that the Legislature provide adequate funding in the future.

9:40 a.m.

The Kansas Supreme Court has approved an increase in spending on public schools that the Democratic governor pushed through the Republican-controlled Legislature.

But the high court declined in its ruling Friday to close the protracted education funding lawsuit that prompted the decision.

The school finance law boosted funding roughly $90 million a year.

The court declared the new money is sufficient under the Kansas Constitution but said it was keeping the underlying lawsuit open to ensure that the state keeps its funding promises.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly had hoped the Supreme Court would end the lawsuit. Four local school districts sued in 2010.

The districts' attorneys argued the new law would not provide enough new money after the 2019-20 school year. Education funding tops $4 billion a year.