Kansas Schools Fight Plays Out Against Backdrop of Debate on Judiciary
"This state’s judicial and legislative branches are on course for a constitutional clash after a state appellate court suggested that it might block a school financing plan that lawmakers passed.
The plan, championed by the conservative-dominated Legislature and the Republican governor, Sam Brownback, cut tens of millions of dollars in aid intended to close disparities between rich and poor districts.
The measure passed this month even as a three-judge panel hinted that it might stay the measure while it determines whether the Legislature was breaching its financial obligations. Republican leaders have denounced the court as overstepping its bounds.
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The district court scheduled a hearing for May to hear arguments on the issue of equalizing aid for poorer districts. In the meantime, the court said in an order issued last Friday that it 'may agree or elect to impose such temporary orders to protect the status quo.'
'In constitutional litigation, that very often includes a stay against the implementation of a law,' said Richard E. Levy, a constitutional law professor at the University of Kansas."