Having directed lawmakers to make education funding fairer to poor areas, the Kansas Supreme Court will next consider the larger issue of whether the state spends enough overall on its schools. The justices could rule by early next year; a trial-court panel said the state must increase its annual aid by at least $548 million.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and the GOP-dominated Legislature's leaders already have committed to rewriting school funding laws next year. Besides overhauling how money is distributed among the state's 286 local districts, they also want to rethink academic standards and use state funds to improve students' performance.
Kansas is likely to remain mired in the budget problems that have plagued it since Brownback persuaded lawmakers to slash personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013. Any large increase in school spending — whether to comply with a court order or smooth the way for a new funding formula — would require lawmakers to reconsider his signature tax cuts.