This afternoon, the House began debating a proposed constitutional amendment that would prohibit the Supreme Court from telling lawmakers how much to appropriate for schools, or anything else, for that matter. It also would make it harder for the court to shut down schools.
Besides a flat $86 million, the House-approved plan would set aside $33 million to address any funding shortfalls identified by a cost study, which is expected to be completed in January. It also provides $20 million for a program called Skills for Success, which is for kindergarteners to third-graders who are at risk of failing academically.
However the figures are sliced, however — even with a total allocation of $139 million, including the $33 million contingency and $20 million skills program funding — they fall short of the Kansas Supreme Court’s order that the Legislature approve an additional $143 million for public schools by tomorrow.
Moreover, even at $86 million, passage is far from assured. The Senate has made approval of the plan contingent on House approval of a resolution that would send the constitutional amendment to voters this summer.
So we have an allocation that won’t pass muster, and a constitutional amendment that shouldn’t pass.
Any legal scholars want to comment on whether the Legislature can retroactively strip the courts of the power to review this lawsuit?