Friday, July 28, 2006

Our long nightmare…

is over:
The Kansas Supreme Court today dismissed the landmark school finance case, saying the Legislature had fixed inequities in the state’s system for funding public schools.
The decision to dismiss the case outright is odd. It seems like the better choice would be to remand the case to the lower court for re-hearing in light of the new law, since that's what will happen either way.

“It’s like the court decided to evade making a decision instead of making one,” said John Martellaro, with Kansas Families United for Public Education. “By not ruling on the constitutionality of (SB) 549, they have invited the parties to drag this all the way through the courts again, which is disappointing.

“I had hoped for greater resolution than what we got,” he said.
I guess it doesn't matter much if the case is heard under a new name or reheard as an extension of its old self. The schools will be funded for the time being, and the system is better than it was. It's not clear that it's good enough, but that's a discussion for another day.

In the short term, the legs have been cut out from under the critics of the court, especially the Republican gubernatorial candidates.

The schools are facing other nightmares though, and next Tuesday will help determine what happens to them. Boot out the conservatives. Give money, be sure to vote (early voting has started, so you can vote in person at your county courthouse now if you prefer), and please, please, please help your local candidates get out the vote. Turnout will be crucial.