- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - Parents from the Shawnee Mission School District are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider their case challenging a state cap on the amount of local property tax money that the district can spend on education.

The Kansas City Star (https://bit.ly/1LMcijv ) reports that the parents filed a lawsuit in 2010 arguing that the state could not limit local school district funding because it creates a new inequality that punishes school districts. They also said that the funding restrictions violated their federal constitutional rights.

The Legislature put the cap in place to help equalize economic disparities among Kansas’ 286 school districts.

In June, the U.S. Appeals Court in Denver ruled that the federal court couldn’t override the state’s funding plan. The parents are now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case. The court’s decision could come early this month.

Tristan Duncan, an attorney for the parents, says “All the cap does is handicap districts like Shawnee Mission.”

Duncan says if district parent decide to spend more of their taxes on their schools, nothing is taken away from other school districts and their students.

“We don’t dispute Kansas City, Kansas, and other areas may have relatively lower property values, but that doesn’t mean they actually have less money to spend in the classroom,” Duncan said.

A spokesman for the Kansas attorney general’s office said the state doesn’t plan to file a response to the request for a U.S. Supreme Court review unless the court asks for one.


Information from: The Kansas City Star, https://www.kcstar.com

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