[JURIST] The Kansas Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] on Thursday that the state failed to ensure sufficient funding for public schools. The court found that approximately one-fourth of Kansas’s public school students have not been provided with basic reading and math skills. If the state does not create a new, adequate funding system by June 30, then schools will begin to be shut down as the school system will be deemed unconstitutional under Article 6 of the Kansas Constitution [text]. The court did not specify exactly how much extra funding is necessary, but an attorney for the plaintiff school districts estimates that the cost would be approximately $800 million.
Education funding has led to numerous legal challenges across the US. Last month the Illinois State Board of Education voted to approve [JURIST report] a settlement of a lawsuit claiming discriminatory school funding. In September the Supreme Court of Nevada ruled [JURIST report] that the state’s school funding system was unconstitutional. Earlier that month the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that Governor Matt Bevin did not have the authority to unilaterally cut the budget [JURIST report] for state universities. In 2015 the Supreme Court of Washington ordered [JURIST report] the state to pay a fine of $100,000 per day for each day that it fails to comply with a previous court ruling mandating adequate funding of public schools. Also in August of that year the US Senate passed a bill [JURIST report] to revamp the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act.