The President of the Kansas Policy Institute says the resolution of the Gannon case released on June 14 is only temporary.
“There’s nothing in that ruling that puts an end to litigation,” said Dave Trabert. “This is true whether it’s part of the Gannon case, or if they ever release jurisdiction, there’s nothing to prevent someone from filing the next lawsuit. It’s really just a matter of when, not if.”
Trabert sees the inconsistency in the Kansas Supreme Court’s focus in its different Gannon decisions as motivated by power.
“This really had never had anything to do with educating kids or frankly, even following the rule of law,” Trabert said. “It was this court deciding it wants to basically be in charge of school funding and by default, be in charge of tax policy.”
From a political standpoint, more precisely writing Article VI of the Kansas Constitution to solve the problem likely won’t work because they can’t get two-thirds majorities and so Trabert believes the litigation will continue.
“Frankly, it could work both ways,” said Trabert. “Now that the court has found a Constitutional right to education, just like this court found a right to abortion in the Constitution, this court just kind of makes it up as they go, they found this right to education in the Constitution, so now, ironically, this kind of opens the door, I think, for students to turn around and sue school districts.”
The idea would be that an individual student who is at-risk could argue that funding is not being properly allocated.