The trial in the ongoing school finance lawsuit is continuing this week, with a leading member of the Kansas Senate testifying on behalf of the plaintiffs.
Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley testified Monday that lawmakers have cut funds for public schools in recent years without any regard for the actual cost of providing a suitable education.
Hensley is a Topeka Democrat who also works as a special education teacher in the Topeka USD 501 school district.
His testimony could be important because, in the last school finance case, the Kansas Supreme Court said that school funding must be based on the actual cost of an adequate education in order for that funding to be constitutional.
But attorneys defending the state have argued that there is no scientifically reliable way to measure the actual cost. In part that’s because there is no way to control for things like the effectiveness of individual teachers, or how efficiently school districts choose to spend their money.
Testimony in the trial is scheduled to wrap up this week. A decision in the case may not come until the end of the year.