Gov. Brownback waiting to see KNEA lawsuit

WICHITA, Kansas - The next round of a battle over a school funding bill is about to begin as the Kansas National Education Association prepares to file its lawsuit challenging the law. With the future of state’s education funding at stake, Gov. Sam Brownback and others are eager to see what the lawsuit will say.

As Gov. Brownback hands out checks to area school districts that participate in the career and technical education programs, it’s all smiles as districts get a financial boost.

Meanwhile, the state is facing one lawsuit and another from the KNEA is pending over the funding bill lawmakers passed in April.

Administrators and principals, but no teachers, are among the crowd at the Wichita Area Technical College where districts are accepting the money.

None of them would talk on camera about the pending lawsuit or what it could mean for educators.

Gov. Brownback wouldn’t give up much about what he thought of the KNEA’s upcoming lawsuit.

“We will see when they file I was really pleased that the lower courts said that the equity piece of the suit is resolved, but we’ll see what they file for a lawsuit,” Gov. Brownback said.

The head of one of the Wichita area’s teachers unions, the KNEA South Central UniServe is optimistic the lawsuit will force the state to amend the controversial bill.

“I’m not a very good predictor what the courts will do but I think there’s a reasonable chance this gets to the Kansas Supreme Court that they might side with the KNEA on this issue, I think this is a shot at public education,” said David Kirkbride.

All eyes in public education will be watching for the lawsuit, expected to be filed in the coming days.

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