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Local school officials pleased with ruling

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

Hays USD 489 Deputy Superintendent Richard Cain is pleased with the Shawnee County District Court three judge panel's ruling in favor of students and school districts in a school funding lawsuit.

"We're very pleased," said Cain, who represents the district at the Schools for Fair Funding meetings. "That's the reason we're involved (in SFFF). We knew it was unconstitutional."

Board member Richard Kraemer agreed with Cain.

"We have felt it might be the outcome, or we wouldn't have pursued it," Kraemer said.

The Hays district has been a member of SFFF since the late 1990s. The group has 52 district members representing 146,843 students.

The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by attorneys John Robb and Alan Rupe, who are representing students and school districts.

Cain said he received an email Friday from the attorneys' office notifying him of the decision but hadn't had a chance to read the entire ruling.

He was quick to point out the decision likely will be appealed by the state.

"It won't provide immediate relief," he said.

Kraemer agreed it's just the first step.

A decision was expected in early January, but administrators didn't know the exact date.

"I'm happy the three judges on the panel saw it the way they did," Kraemer said.

"We think it's the right decision. That's why we participated, and we think the (Kansas) Supreme Court will agree," Cain said.

Other area districts listed as members of SFFF include Rawlins County USD 105, Norton USD 211, Palco USD 269, Plainville USD 270 and Graham County USD 281.