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Kansas Supreme Court Puts Millions In Back Payments To Schools On Hold

Lauren Manning

The state of Kansas is off the hook, for now, for $50 million in back payments to school districts across the state.

Lawyers for the four school districts suing the state, including Kansas City, Kansas, say they expected all along that the order from a three-judge panel in Shawnee County would be stayed by the state Supreme Court.

Late Tuesday evening the high court did just that.

The state appealed last Friday's order from the panel that ordered all back payments to districts be made by Wednesday.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt quickly appealed. In his appeal he harshly criticized the panel, calling its ruling "unprecedented" and overly political.

In their response, the districts argued Kansas school children would be harmed without the additional money being paid right away.

In a one page ruling, the justices did say they recognize the need for a swift resolution and say they will order expedited briefs and oral arguments.

In addition to the back payments, the district court panel also ruled that the state’s new block grant school funding was unconstitutional.

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