School district group ordered to respond by Tuesday to school finance case motion

The Kansas Supreme Court issued an order today in the Gannon school finance case.

The court ordered the plaintiffs, who are school districts, to respond by Tuesday, March 3, to the state’s motion to stay the panel’s proceedings or remand the case to a three-judge panel.

In the case, the state of Kansas is appealing a three-judge panel decision, which ruled that although the Legislature had substantially complied with its obligation to provide equity in school funding, it had failed to comply with the adequacy requirements of Article 6 of the Kansas Constitution.

On Jan. 23, the state filed a motion to amend the panel’s Dec. 30 order. Then, on Jan. 27, the plaintiffs, a group including the Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools, Turner Public Schools, and others, filed a motion to alter the Dec. 30 order regarding the equity holding. A hearing on the motions was scheduled March 5.

The state also filed a notice of appeal in the Shawnee County district court on Jan. 28 and later in the Kansas Supreme Court on Feb. 18, with a brief due March 30.

Then, Feb. 27, the state filed a corrected motion for an order staying further panel proceedings pending disposition of the appeal, or in an alternative, an order remanding the case for the limited purpose of having the panel resolve the state’s motion to alter or amend. In that motion, the state argued its appeal had been docketed with the Supreme Court, and the panel no longer had jurisdiction to consider the state’s outstanding motion to alter or amend in the district court. It requested the Supreme Court to either stay any further proceedings before the panel on the motion to alter or amend, or remand the case to the panel for the limited purpose of resolving its motion to alter or amend.

The Supreme Court gave the plaintiffs until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3, to respond to the state’s motion to stay the panel’s proceedings or remand the case to the panel, adding there would be no extensions of time.

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