In Blue Springs et al v. Kansas City et al, families in Kansas City School District sought educational services for their kids in suburban after their district lost its accreditation in September of 2011, When Kansas City Public School presided to set a transfer policy, tax payers from suburban districts sued to prevent transfer out of concern such transfers could violate the Missouri’s Hancock Amendment.The Hancock Amendment prevents new services and regulation without new appropriation to pay for it. The tax payers argue that the transfer would force suburban schools to provide new services and/or impose new regulations without appropriations to pay for it.
In oral arguments, Attorney Duane Martin representing the tax payers pointed appropriations has not been authorized to pay for such transfer and it will cost more for the suburban district to educate the city kids the their own.
Whether the service came from the state or another subdivision, the end result is the same, the state is mandating the agency engage in a new service or activity...the state is prevented from circumvent the taxing limits intended by the Hancock by passing them on the subdivisions.
Kids transferring of of Normandy to Francis Howell School district is costing Normandy money. Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is asking for millions of dollars to fund the transfer to keep the Normandy from going broke. Normandy paid $454,000 to Francis Howell. According to one Justice, if a school can’t exist due to lack of funding, students shall go to adjourning school district.
In Brooks et al v. Nixon (2004), the Court ruled that a part of the concealed carry statute violated the Hancock amendment when the statute at the time prevented the fee being paid for training being used on activities in order to issue a license. Governor Blunt later signed an amendment to the law so the fees can be used on such activities.
The attorney representing the state pointed out that the Court already that school transfer is does not violate the Hancock amendment in Breitenfeld v. Clayton. The Breitenfeld case originated from St. Louis after St. Louis Public School lost its accreditation. Normandy students transferred to Francis Howell after the ruling.
The Tax Payers are present nothing new in this case. They are the same statute, on the same ground. They’re just doing it on the other side other the state.
The state’s argued that shifting responsibility on from one school district to another is not a violation of the Hancock amendment.
Shall the Court rule in favor of the tax payers, Breitenfeld could be overturned and end transferring. If the Court rule in favor of the state and $6.8 million dollars are not appropriated as the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requested, Normandy school district could cease to exist.