Kansas Supreme Court

J. Stephen Conn, flickr Creative Commons

A majority of the Kansas Supreme Court's justices were openly skeptical Wednesday of the cash-strapped state's arguments that legislators are spending enough money on public schools to provide a suitable education to every child.

But Justice Dan Biles also suggested that if the court concludes that inadequate funding has allowed some children to fall behind, its order might have to be targeted to helping just them allowing the state to potentially shift funds from programs for gifted students.

The Kansas Supreme Court will hear two hours of oral arguments Wednesday in the Gannon school funding case.

It's hard to imagine an educator, lawmaker or legislative candidate not sitting on the edge of their seat looking for a clue as to how the justices will rule.

Here are some FAQs on the hearing:

So you're telling me the case is still going? Didn't we just have a big Gannon story not long ago?

Christopher Sessums / flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in the latest lawsuit over school funding. At issue is whether the state is spending enough on schools.

alamosbasement, flickr Creative Commons

The largest teachers union in the state is asking the Kansas Supreme Court to overturn a law making it easier to fire teachers.

The 2014 bill took away a teacher’s right to an impartial hearing before being fired. Under a previous law, after three years, teachers were awarded that protection under the previous law.

At a hearing today, the union said lawmakers violated the state Constitution, which says bills can only contain one subject. KNEA General Counsel David Schauner says lawmakers improperly took a school funding bill and added the provision stripping tenure.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Supreme Court wrestled Monday with whether it should censure former Wichita-area judge Timothy Henderson over allegations that he was not candid in answering questions about earlier accusations of sexual harassment and other improper conduct.

Henderson, a Sedgwick County District Judge, lost his re-election bid in the Republican primary. His resignation was effective Sunday. Because of that, his attorney, Thomas Haney, said the latest case against Henderson is now moot.

J. Stephen Conn, flickr Creative Commons

The state’s largest teachers union will ask a court this week to overturn a legislative change that made it easier to fire teachers. As Stephen Koranda reports, the Kansas National Education Association already lost in a lower court and is now taking its case to the Kansas Supreme Court.

Kansas used to have a due process provision when a teacher was going to be fired. If the teacher had been working more than three years, they had a right to an impartial hearing before being terminated.

Abigail Beckman

As part of a two-day tour that included stops in Kansas City and Topeka, four former Kansas Governors were in Wichita on Wednesday, and they had strong opinions about conservative efforts to oust some Kansas Supreme Court justices.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

A bipartisan group of four former Kansas governors are campaigning on for the state’s Supreme Court justices--five of whom are are facing retention elections this fall.

The governors are on a two-day tour organized by Kansans for Fair Courts, a group campaigning on behalf of the targeted justices; judges' political activity is severely restricted. The four appeared at the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce before moving on to Topeka for a similar event; they're headed to Wichita next.

wstrachan1, flickr Creative Commons

Four former Kansas governors are launching a bipartisan campaign to retain Kansas Supreme Court justices in November's election.

The three invitation-only events with former Republican Govs. Mike Hayden and Bill Graves and former Democratic Govs. John Carlin and Kathleen Sebelius are sponsored by Kansans for Fair Courts. It says it wants to keep the state's courts independent.

The first event is Tuesday morning at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri. The others are later Tuesday in Topeka and on Wednesday in Wichita.

Gage Skidmore, flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Sam Brownback is reaching out to education leaders to discuss the development of a new education funding strategy. He plans to host a press conference on the subject on Wednesday afternoon.

In a release from the governor's office, Brownback says he will be announcing a plan for developing a funding system that ensures high-quality education for Kansas students. So far, that plan is to engage the members of the education community, including Jim McNiece, the chairman of the Kansas State Board of Education, and Dr. Randall Watson, the Kansas Commissioner of Education.

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