- Associated Press - Friday, May 27, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Latest on the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling on school funding (all times local):

8:40 p.m.

The Kansas Senate’s top Democrat is criticizing majority Republicans for not being more generous toward public schools while worrying about accommodating transgender students.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka said Friday that lawmakers need to respond to the Kansas Supreme Court’s latest order on education funding by boosting aid to poor school districts.

He said they should do so on Wednesday before a brief ceremony adjourning their annual session.

Senate President Susan Wagle of Wichita plans to have her chamber vote on a resolution condemning a federal government directive saying public schools must allow transgender students to use facilities in line with their gender identities.

Hensley said lawmakers should increase education funding rather than “waste taxpayers’ dollars on an election year charade over which bathroom students can use.”

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7:55 p.m.

An attorney for four school districts says Kansas will have to boost education funding by between $17.5 million and nearly $30 million for the 2016-17 school year to satisfy a state Supreme Court order.

Lawyer Alan Rupe said Friday that the Legislature needs to reconvene to address the problems identified by the court.

The court rejected some education funding changes approved earlier this year by legislators.

Rupe said it would cost $17.5 million to increase aid to poor school districts in keeping with the court’s latest order. He said if lawmakers want to keep other districts from losing aid, they’d have to provide an additional $12 million.

The court ruled in a lawsuit filed in 2010 by the Dodge City, Hutchinson, Wichita and Kansas City, Kansas, school districts.

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7:35 p.m.

An attorney for four school districts says Kansas will have to boost education funding by nearly $30 million for the 2016-17 school year to comply with a state Supreme Court order.

Lawyer Alan Rupe said Friday that the Legislature needs to reconvene to address the problems identified by the court.

The court rejected some education funding changes approved earlier this year by the Republican-dominated Legislature. It said the entire school funding system is unfair to poor districts and violates the state constitution because of the flaws.

The extra funds Rupe identified would boost aid to poor districts while keeping wealthier ones from losing aid.

The court ruled in a lawsuit filed in 2010 by the Dodge City, Hutchinson, Wichita and Kansas City, Kansas, school districts.

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7:15 p.m.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback says the Kansas Supreme Court is putting children’s education at risk in its latest ruling on state funding.

He also said after Friday’s decision that the court has disregarded the Legislature’s “proper role” in setting education funding policy.

The court rejected some of the education funding changes legislators approved earlier this year. It said lawmakers failed to fully comply with a previous order in February to improve funding for poor school districts.

The court also renewed a threat to not allow schools to open in August if lawmakers don’t act again by June 30.

The conservative Republican governor said in a statement: “The court is engaging in political brinksmanship with this ruling, and the cost will be borne by our children.”

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6:10 p.m.

Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick is calling the state Supreme Court’s latest education funding ruling “disgraceful.”

The Stilwell Republican said the court’s decision Friday demonstrated that it is “the most political body” in the state and is “holding children hostage.”

The court rejected some education funding changes enacted by the Republican-dominated Legislature earlier this year.

The justices in February ordered lawmakers to make distribution of state aid fairer to poor public school districts.

They concluded Friday that lawmakers did not fully comply and that public schools must remain closed unless lawmakers act again by June 30.

Merrick said legislators acted in good faith.

He also suggested that voters consider ousting justices in November’s election. Five of the court’s seven members face yes-or-no votes on whether they stay on the bench.

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5:30 p.m.

The Kansas Supreme Court says that if its most recent education funding ruling results in public schools closing, it will be because legislators did not comply with an earlier order.

The high court Friday rejected some education funding changes enacted by the Republican-dominated Legislature. The justices said in an unsigned order that lawmakers did not fully comply with an order in February to improve funding for poor schools.

The court refused to separate the changes it endorsed from ones it accepted, saying they were all part of a single system. The justices said that unless the problems are fixed, the state won’t have an acceptable system for distributing its more than $4 billion in annual aid.

The court said schools would be forced to close if the problems aren’t fixed not because of its decision.

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5:07 p.m.

The Kansas Supreme Court is threatening again to close the state’s public schools and has rejected some education funding changes enacted by legislators earlier this year.

The court ruled Friday on a law that revised parts of the state’s funding formula but resulted in no change in total funds for most of the state’s 286 school districts.

The justices said legislators didn’t fully comply with an order it issued in February to make education funding fairer to poor school districts. The court said all schools must remain closed unless lawmakers fix the problems by June 30.

The court made the same threat in February, and the Republican-dominated Legislature passed the changes in hopes the court would relent.

Lawmakers were scheduled to meet Wednesday to formally adjourn their annual session.

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