Jackson County judge W. Brent Powell ruled on the lawsuit filed by five school districts against the Kansas City district yesterday.
It was a “yes and no” decision, depending on whether a district could show that the transfers would result in a financial loss.
Duane Martin was the attorney for the Lee's Summit District in the constitutionality test of a state law saying districts must accept transfer students from neighboring unaccredited districts. And the Lee's Summit District was one of three in which the judge said the law was an unconstitutional unfunded mandate. But Martin isn't declaring final victory yet, and believes the ruling will be appealed.
Martin commented, "One thing that you take away from this ruling is that things really aren't resolved yet and this is a matter that is going to have to go up before the Missouri Supreme Court and be resolved."
So no students will be transferring into the Lee's Summit, Independence or North Kansas City district – but none will be transferring into the Raytown or Blue Springs districts, either -- where the judge ruled that the law was not an unfunded mandate.
Martin says the earliest there could be a supreme court hearing is next spring... and there are also things like when the districts would be paid still to be worked out.