School Funding and Judicial Selection Intersect in Kansas
IAALS Online readers are familiar with recent efforts to alter the process for selecting Kansas' appellate judges. Supporters of increased funding for public schools are concerned about the impact this effort may have on a school finance case that is currently before the supreme court. Specifically, they worry that Governor Brownback and conservative legislators may be pushing selection changes to "put the court on notice." Earlier this year, a three judge-panel ordered the legislature to increase school funding by $500 million.
The supreme court heard oral arguments in the case on October 8 and is expected to rule by the end of the year. In similar cases in 2005 and 2006, the supreme court held that the legislature had failed to adequately fund public schools and ordered an increase.