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A.G. Schmidt asks court to dismiss school-bill lawsuit

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CJOnline.com
Posted: September 22, 2014 - 2:26pm
By Ellen Fike
ellen.fike@cjonline.com
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt asked a state court Monday to end a lawsuit challenging a school-funding law enacted in April by the Kansas Legislature, a news release from Schmidt’s office said.
He filed the motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which was filed in August by the Kansas National Education Association, in the Shawnee County District Court.
“The filing is the state’s first formal response to the lawsuit,” the news release said.
Schmidt wrote in the filing: “At its core, KNEA disagrees with the Legislature’s policy choice to amend the Kansas statutes regarding teacher dismissal and termination of teacher contracts. Rather than attack that issue directly, the KNEA raises an abstract challenge to the process by which the Legislature enacted the law.”
He is arguing the KNEA lacks standing to challenge the law and no actual controversy has come from it. He also is arguing the bill complies with the state Constitution’s requirement that each bill contain only a single subject.
Schmidt argued that by allowing the lawsuit to proceed, it could put more than $134 million in K-12 spending provided by the law in jeopardy. The spending is being used in Kansas schools during the current school year.
Asked for comment on Schmidt’s filing, KNEA press contact Marcus Baltzell said, “We believe our complaint is clear and will wait until the process takes its full course before commenting further.”
Ellen Fike can be reached at 785-295-5652 or ellen.fike@cjonline.com.
Follow Ellen on Twitter @EllenFikeTCJ.

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