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Court Proceedings Begin in School Funding Lawsuit

The lawsuit over the state's funding of public schools came before a Cole County Circuit Judge Wednesday. There were opening statements from attorneys for the state and for the roughly 300 school districts involved in the suit. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports from Jefferson City.

The school districts bringing the suit contend state funding for public schools violates the constitution in two ways: it's not equitable and it's not adequate.

Alex Bartlett is the lead attorney for the school districts' group called Committee for Educational Equality.

Representing the state, Assistant Attorney General Jim McAdams argues the legislature addressed public school funding in 2005 when it passed a new funding mechanism or formula.

Lawmakers will be watching the case closely.

House Speaker Pro Tem Carl Bearden of St Charles.

Some lawmakers say the school districts have a legitimate complaint.

Democratic Representative Sara Lampe of Springfield says it's too bad districts must use a lawsuit to get their funding needs met.

Some say the court proceedings could last six weeks.

This isn't the first time school districts have sued the state over funding. They won a similar case in 1993 with the same attorney who is representing them this time around.