KCUR News
2:13 pm
Mon February 21, 2011

Kansas Fed Ed Suit: Only the Judge Knows

Kansas City, KS – A Federal District Judge in Kansas City, Kansas promises a ruling in two to three weeks on a fight over local funding of public schools. The ruling due by mid March deals with how much local money can be raised to pay for Kansas schools.

Multiple sides in the lawsuit weighed in, including the governor's lawyers and several school districts which don't want power to raise more education money than a cap allows.

A lawyer for 17 parents in the Shawnee Mission District says their fundamental right to pay for education is being denied. Michele Trouve is one of the parents, who says--"if i want to make my own sacrifices and make my choices and my community wants to make those choices, then why should we have our hands tied behind our back."

Trouve, a mother of three, says the die was cast last Fall when Shawnee Mission Schools were forced to close schools and redraw attendance boundaries for lack of funding.

Other districts which say they're not able to raise money that a Shawnee Mission District might, have come in on the side of the state. And the state fights back with the argument that funding schools is a state responsibility.

Judge John Lungstrum has constitutional issues to consider and other court decisions from other states, and the intent of the legislature drawing up law. Then he'll decide whether a preliminary injunction against the local fund raising cap is justified.

Trouve believes the ruling is likely to be appealed by which ever side loses, because its a civil rights issue with constitutional ramifications.