Reaction from districts that won school funding lawsuit

HUTCHINSON, Kansas — 31 people have joined four school districts to file the lawsuit against the state regarding the cuts in school funding and calling it unconstitutional. Those schools were Wichita, Hutchinson, Dodge City and Kansas City. Attorneys claim the funding cuts hurt student performance and resulted in lower test scores.

“The district is very pleased, this is a victory for the kids,” said Ray Hemman, USD 308.

There’s celebration in Hutchinson, from the school district and parents.

“I have six kids in school and all of them are in some kind of sport from the state system. I mean they finally stepped in and helped the schools like they should’ve done all along,” said Larry Burnette Jr., a parent of students in the Hutchinson School District.

The Hutchinson School District says that most of the money that they know they’ll be getting right now will be going towards the upkeep of school buildings but there will also be money coming in for technology like computers for the kids.

“You’re only a third grader one year so it’s really important that we address these issues and we address them on a very timely basis so this is a win for the kids,” said Hemman.

There is still no word on how much funding will be coming to districts or where exactly the money is coming from.

“Smaller class sizes, more resources, especially for students who are at risk or in those lower socioeconomic situations,” said Tambra Stucky, an Alternative Learning Program Teacher.

Parents hope the money will help even the playing field for all kids.

“Schools have more money on one end of town and schools have less money on the other end of town, and the capabilities of what they were able to offer was always a little different so I think that if every school in town can offer the same capabilities, it’s a good step forward,” said Emily Calvillo, another parent.

The battle over school funding has been going on for decades. Actually since the U.S. had about 70,000 troops in Vietnam, back in 1972. That’s how long districts and lawmakers have been doing this back and forth.

In 2005, justices ordered the state to increase school funding by 285 million dollars but it was just five years later that districts filed the latest lawsuit claiming that the state again wasn’t funding education.

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