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Deliberations Expected Soon in Latest KS School Finance Lawsuit

Kansas Public Radio
Peter Hancock
Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Kansas Public Radio featured Professor Richard Levy's take in a recent story about the latest school finance lawsuit in Kansas.

Hancock reported:

HANCOCK: But some legal experts say that may not be enough to prove the state has violated the Constitution.

Rick Levy is a constitutional law professor at the University of Kansas.

LEVY: There’s a raging debate, and conflicting conclusions and evidence, about what the correlation is between money and outcomes in student achievement. My own personal view is, on the one hand it seems clear that just throwing money at the educational system isn’t necessarily going to improve outcomes. … The flip side of it is, it seems to me obvious that if you put one dollar into the state school budget and said, ‘funding doesn’t matter, make do,’ that that wouldn’t cut it. Some minimal amount of funding is necessary, or else it’s not possible to provide education.

HANCOCK: And that gets back to the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision in the 2005 case Montoy vs. Kansas, when it ruled that funding has to be based on actual costs.

LEVY: I think the outcome in Montoy might have been different if the legislature had looked at those studies and said, “You know what, we don’t think that much money is required, and we’re going to provide this money because we think this money is adequate and here’s why we think it’s adequate. But that’s not what the legislature did. The legislature basically ignored the study.