School-funding lawsuits are common

Kansas isn’t the only state battling in court over its school funding. Nine other states (including Colorado and Texas) have school-funding lawsuits in the courts, and four other states recently wrapped up legal challenges, the Washington Post reported. Since 1973, when a U.S. Supreme Court case indicated that it was OK to challenge school-finance plans at the state level, all but five states – Delaware, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah – have had funding lawsuits. But winning a lawsuit does not necessarily result in more money, or consistent funding. The Kansas Legislature agreed to large funding increases in 2005 and 2006 after having lost a funding lawsuit. But because of funding cuts in recent years due to the economic downturn, the state’s education budget this fiscal year is 13 percent less when adjusted for inflation than it was in the 2007 school year, according to the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities.