The Kansas Supreme Court has inspired optimistic talk about an early end to an education funding lawsuit against the state by ordering mediation.
But any discussions among the parties will be shadowed by the Legislature's ongoing debate over phasing out the state's personal income taxes.
Governor Sam Brownback, Attorney General Derek Schmidt and some fellow Republicans in the Legislature reacted positively to the Supreme Court's order for mediation.
Newton attorney John Robb, representing the students, parents and school districts suing the state, also was optimistic.
But the Supreme Court hasn't altered the context surrounding any talks.
Kansas enacted massive income tax cuts last year. Brownback and the Republican-dominated Legislature aren't backing away from them.
Meanwhile, the lawsuit is aimed at forcing a big boost in education funding.