Hearings Continue On Education Funding Amendment

Feb 15, 2013

A committee in the Kansas Senate continued hearings Thursday on a constitutional amendment that could block some lawsuits over school funding. The proposed change to the state Constitution says only the Legislature can set school spending levels.

Lawmakers are considering the change in response to lawsuits filed by parents and school districts over funding. Republican Senator Steve Abrams said earlier this week that the amendment would make it clear that lawmakers set the level of funding for education and courts can’t order spending increases.

Cynthia Lane is superintendent of Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. She told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the amendment would upset the checks and balances system in state government.

“I think it takes away the right of citizens to say 'wait a minute, we disagree,' and to ask for the courts to help us figure that out,” she says.

To amend the Constitution, the proposal would have to pass both chambers with a two-thirds majority and be approved by voters.