An argument about whether a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of how the state currently funds education should be dropped to allow the legislature to act remains unresolved. During a brief court hearing, Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan questions the premise upon which the state has based its argument; that any legal action should be sidelined to give the new legislature an opportunity to fix the school funding formula. He asks Assistant Attorney General Jim McAdams why the legislature would act, if a court hasn’t found the formula unconstitutional. Callahan scheduled another hearing for next week at the end of the court apperance in Jefferson City. Afterward, McAdams reiterated the stance. He says the legislature is likely to address the problems raised by the lawsuit whether or not a court rules on the current formula. He argues the legislature should be given a chance to address the concerns raised in the lawsuit before it is allowed to proceed. The legislature opens its new session in January. It will convene in mid-May. More than 250 school districts have challenged the state school funding formula, claiming it is unfair and inadequate. Their attorney, Alex Bartlett, says Callahan’s action means the case moves on. The school districts have indicated they’ll agree to delay their lawsuit, if a judge first declares the present system unconstitutional.
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