Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt believes his office will be ready for the timeline set by the Kansas Supreme Court in the latest school funding litigation.
“We’re working diligently,” said Schmidt. “The Legislature just last week, right before they left, passed their latest remedial legislation. It’s intended to respond to the Supreme Court’s latest order. They didn’t leave us a lot of time to get what they’ve done turned into a formal legal brief and filed with the court by the April 15th deadline, but we’re going to get it done.”
Schmidt has already seen a draft of the brief’s language and now it’s under revision.
“It’s looking good,” said Schmidt. “We’re not quite ready yet, but we have some time left. We’re going to present to the court exactly what the Legislature did, why they did it, and why, there is near unanimity, across the face of state government, that this enactment satisfies the requirements that the court articulated.”
Schmidt believes that everyone on the side of state government is ready for the Gannon suit to come to a close.
“The governor is supportive, both houses of the Legislature, with bipartisan majorities, large majorities are supportive, the State Board of Education is supportive, the state Department of Education is supportive,” said Schmidt. “We’re hopeful that the court will view that as a very strong case that it is finally time for this lawsuit to come to an end, so that the focus on how we deal with schools going forward can return to a more balanced approach of what’s best for Kansas kids.”
The court has called the current system insufficient without the inflation fix attempted in the latest bill, but has stayed that order until later this summer so it can look at this legislation and hear arguments on it next month.