OPEKA — A proposed amendment to the Kansas Con-stitution designed to stymie a pending education unding law-suit won’t end the litigation and could ace its own legal chal-lenge, a lawyer or the students and public school districts suing the state says.Attorney John Robb criticizes the proposal as a “power play” by conservative Republican legisla-tors upset with past Kansas Su-preme Court rulings that the state wasn’t spending enough money on its public schools. Te mea-sure would add a new sentence to the constitution’s education article, declaring that the Legis-lature has the exclusive power to set spending on schools.Te GOP-dominated Senate Judiciary Committee plans to have hearings later this month on the proposed amendment. It was introduced last week, less than a month afer a three-judge panel in Shawnee County ruled that the state isn’t meeting its con-stitutional obligation to suitably und schools. Legislators would have to boost annual spending by at least $440 million to comply.But Robb, rom Newton, said even i lawmakers put the mea-sure on the ballot and voters approve it, his clients still have legal issues to pursue, including whether legislators were arbitrary in their decisions about school unding. Robb represents 32 stu-dents, their parents and guard-ians and the Wichita, Hutchin-son, Dodge City and Kansas City, Kan., school districts.Robb also said the proposed statement explaining the mea-sure or voters is so misleading — and, in his mind, designed to push them to approve it — that it opens the measure to being invalidated by the state Supreme Court. Robb did not rule out his clients ﬁling such a challenge i the measure is placed on the bal-lot or even afer its approval by voters.“Te Legislature ought to be ocused on what’s good or kids and not ocused on this power play over who is the supreme decision-maker,” Robb told Te Associated Press in an interview. “Tey’re trying to undamentally change our system o govern-ment in Kansas.”Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Jeﬀ King, an Indepen-dence Republican who helped draf the proposed amendment, was skeptical that it’s vulnerable to a potential legal challenge. He said the amendment, i adopted, would prevent the courts rom stepping into decisions that the constitution meant to reserve or elected oﬃcials.“Whether the Legislature is making suitable provision or the ﬁnancing o education rests in the hearts and minds o Kan-sas voters and at the ballot box,” King said.Te education article says that the Legislature shall “make suit-able provision or ﬁnance” or the state’s “educational interests.” Te proposed amendment would add a new sentence saying, “Te ﬁnancing o the educational in-terests o the state is exclusively a legislative power” and “shall be established solely by the Legisla-ture.”A proposed constitutional change must be adopted by two-thirds majorities in both cham-bers and approved by a simple majority o voters in a statewide election. Supporters hope the measure will be on the ballot no later than the August 2014 pri-mary.Te state Supreme Court has said the Legislature is consti-tutionally obligated to ﬁnance a suitable education or every child, suggesting in 2005 and 2006 rulings that the state could ace continual increases in spend-ing. Lawmakers dramatically in-creased spending on schools a-ter those rulings but backed away rom their promises during the Great Recession, prompting the lawsuit by Robb’s clients.Te Shawnee County ruling cited the Legislature’s duty under the education article in saying that current school unding is in-adequate. Te state has appealed it, and it’s not clear how quickly the Supreme Court will rule.But Robb noted that the lower court panel didn’t decide claims that lawmakers were arbitrary in the past or that their actions discriminated against some stu-dents. Te proposed amendment, i adopted, “isn’t going to make this lawsuit go away,” Robb said.“It will impact this lawsuit, but it won’t resolve it,” he said.But King, an attorney who also serves as Senate vice president, said the state’s courts don’t typi-cally order additional spending to remedy the other issues Robb’s clients raise.“We are letting the voters de-cide who has ﬁnal say over ap-propriations or schools,” King said.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
THE UNIVERSITY DAILY KANSAN
Clear. Winds from the SW at 10 to 15 mph
Warmth makes a comeback.
HI: 57LO: 32
Clear. Winds from the SSE at 10 to 15 mph.
Another beautiful day.
HI: 61LO: 36
Overcast with a chance of rain in the morning, then clear. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph.
A ﬁne day minus the clouds.
HI: 54LO: 32
Thursday, Feb. 7Tuesday, Feb. 5Wednesday, Feb. 6Monday, Feb. 4
: Taking Back Mondays
: 8 p.m.
: Sovereign States, a punk-rock group, encourages the crowd to join them on stage and sing along in this karaoke-style show.
: Karaoke Costume Night
: 10 p.m.
: Still craving more karaoke? Pick a costume and show off your vocal skills. Featuring MCs Tanya McNaughty and Jadey McJuicy.
: Casbah Video Gamer Night
: Burger Stand at the Casbah
: 8 p.m.
: If you’re feeling nostalgic for your old-school gamer days, come play classic video games on Nintendo 64, Super NES and Sega Genesis.
: Inspiring MLK: The Mentorship of Benjamin Elijah Mays
: Dole Institute of Politics
: 7:30 to 9 p.m.
: In honor of Black History Month, Prof. Randal Maurice Jelks will discuss the importance of Benjamin Elijah Mays in the civil rights move-ment.
: Spring Study Abroad Affair
: Kansas Union
: 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
: Explore your study abroad op-tions, which includes countries such as Spain, Ireland and Australia, and meet with program coordinators and past participants.
: Faith Forum: Rooted in Faith, Working for the Earth
: Ecumenical Campus Minis-tries
: 6:30 to 8 p.m.
: Rachel Myslivy, program director of the Climate and Energy Project, discusses how faith and being good to the earth intertwine. People of all faiths welcome.
: Free HIV Testing
: Kansas Union
: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
: The Douglas County AIDS Project will host free HIV testing in honor of National Black HIV Aware-ness Day. All community members are encouraged to attend.
: Tea at Three
: Kansas Union
: 3 to 4 p.m.
: Enjoy some free tea and cook-ies. Extra points if you can speak with a British accent.
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THE UNIVERSITY DAILY KANSAN
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Check out KUJH-TV on Knology of Kansas Channel 31 in Lawrence for more on what you’ve read in today’s Kansan and other news. Also see KUJH’s website at tv.ku.edu.KJHK is the student voice in radio. Whether it’s rock ‘n’ roll or reggae, sports or special events, KJHK 90.7 is for you.
Summer study abroad info fair at Union
The Ofﬁce of Study Abroad will host its spring fair on Wednesday. It will be in the Kansas Union on the fourth ﬂoor lobby from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The fair will promote summer study abroad op-tions. Information about ﬁnancial aid and scholarships will also be available.“Even if you’re not interested in doing it right now, it’s never too early to start planning and seeing about those opportunities,” said Robert Lopez, outreach coordinator for the Ofﬁce of Study Abroad.Other departments, including the Global Awareness Program, Global Partners, the Passport Ofﬁce and the Peace Corps will also offer information about their respective departments throughout the day.The deadline for summer study abroad applications is March 1. The internship deadline is Feb. 11. To complete the application pro-cess, students must apply online at studyabroad.ku.edu.
— Elly Grimm
Voter registration deadline Tuesday
Douglas County elections are less than a month away. Primary elec-tions are on Feb. 26, and the voter registration deadline for residents is Tuesday, Feb. 5. Although students can print an online registration form and mail it in, undergraduate student Amber McArthur hopes to encourage more students to register, making the pro-cess even easier for students. She will host a voter registration drive in front of Wescoe Hall at noon on Feb. 4. Students need only a driver’s license to register.
— Alyssa Scott
Amendment would allow legislature to set school funding
Kansas state Sen. Julia Lynn, right, an Olathe Republican, asks questions about a proposed amendment to the state constitution to change how appellate court members are selected, as Sen. David Haley, a Kansas City Democrat, watches during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting last Thursday.
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