Top GOP officials in Kansas condemn ruling on school funding

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and GOP legislative leaders are condemning a court ruling that declares key parts of the state’s new school funding law unconstitutional.

Brownback said Friday that the state would appeal the decision from a three-judge panel in Shawnee County District Court. He said the panel overstepped its authority.

The law took effect in April and scrapped a per-student formula for distributing aid to the state’s 286 school districts. Top Republicans said the judicial panel is ordering the state to restore parts of the old formula and immediately provide millions of extra dollars.

Senate Majority Leader and Nickerson Republican Terry Bruce called the ruling “utter nonsense.” House Speaker and Stilwell Republican Ray Merrick said it is “87 pages of judicial activism.”

But Democratic legislative leaders praised the decision.