A Kansas court ruling rendered last week could have a major impact on education funding in Georgia. Experts say it is a ruling that could pit local school districts against lawmakers under the Gold Dome.
After six years of huge drops in education spending, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled last week that the current level of school funding isn’t enough.
In essence, the Kansas ruling said “The state legislature (in Kansas) is not funding education up to the level required by local schools and that state’s constitution,” according to WSB legal analyst Ron Carlson.
The ruling gives Kansas lawmakers until July 1 to come up with a better spending plan, although a special judicial panel will decide just what “reasonably calculated” measures should be taken to equitably fund schools in the Sunflower State.
Still, Kansas lawmakers have promised to ignore the high court ruling, setting up a potential constitutional crisis in Kansas when the deadline passes.
So what’s this have to do with Georgia?
“The state constitution in Georgia has ‘suitable sustenance of public schools’ written all over it,” Carlson pointed out.
Education leaders in many districts are grumbling long and loud about cuts in Georgia school spending, akin to those in Kansas. They are also grousing about the diversion of state tax money to school vouchers and charter institutions. With Georgia education advocates – especially in poorer counties – pressing for more money per student, Carlson said he believes this is a lawsuit we could soon see right here.