Schools for Fair Funding, the plaintiff group in the Gannon school funding lawsuit, revealed last week that they no longer agree with the governor and the state Department of Education’s inflation correction calculation and therefore they are not on board with the bill that would use that calculation to try to resolve the suit.
“Where there’s a little bit of ambiguity is things like, exactly how would you calculate inflation?” said Kansas Association of School Boards Vice President for Advocacy, Mark Tallman. “Can you look back at what inflation has been? The court suggested you could, but inflation going forward might be higher. Do you have to put all the money in BASE state aid, or can you count other things the Legislature may have added funding for? The Court was not really specific on that.”
KASB, for its part, plans to testify in support of the governor’s plan when it goes to committee on Wednesday.
“After this week, there’s only two weeks until most bills are supposed to be through the process and frankly, into conference committee,” said Tallman. “Of course, as you know, the bigger the issue, the less likely that they follow that guideline.”
First adjournment is scheduled for April 5.
“That’s really the absolute deadline for trying to get briefs to the court, oral arguments which are scheduled for May,” said Tallman. “If that deadline is missed, then I think things get really questionable down the road.”
Tallman said even though the plaintiff districts include some of their members, the overall direction their entire membership wants them to take at this point is to stick with the governor and the Department of Education’s number, which is approximately $90 million a year for four years. Schools for Fair Funding says the number should be $360 million, or $270 million more for each year than that.