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Brownback Responds To KNEA Lawsuit

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says he's worried that a lawsuit by the state's largest teachers union challenging an anti-tenure measure could endanger additional funds for poor school districts.

Brownback said Monday that the lawsuit filed by the Kansas National Education Association in Shawnee County District Court was, in his words, an exercise in labor-union politics.

The KNEA contends that legislators this year violated the Kansas Constitution by tying additional funding for poor public schools to a measure ending guaranteed tenure for public school teachers.

The union said the combination violated the state constitution's requirement that most legislation have only one subject. The group wants to block only the anti-tenure measure.

But Brownback said he's concerned that the education money also could be jeopardized.

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The largest teachers' union in Kansas has filed a lawsuit against a new state law that ended guaranteed tenure for public school teachers.

The Kansas National Education Association argued Monday that the law violated the state constitution for the anti-tenure policy to be added to a larger education funding measure.

The lawsuit filed in Shawnee County District Court alleges the Republican-dominated Legislature violated a provision of the state constitution requiring most bills to contain only one subject.

However, the 23,000-member union is asking a judge block only the anti-tenure provision.

The measure approved by legislators in April boosted state aid to poor school districts by $129 million for the new school year. Conservative GOP legislators insisted on tying the new funding to other policy provisions, including the one on tenure.

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