By The Associated Press
2:02 PM CDT, June 4, 2012
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - An attorney representing the state of Kansas says legislators did the best they could to maintain education funding while faced with a struggling state economy in recent years.
Arthur Chalmers is a Wichita attorney hired by the state in the latest school finance litigation. During opening statements Monday, he told a three-judge panel in Shawnee County District Court that school funding wasn't arbitrarily targeted from 2009 through 2011.
Instead, Chalmers said legislators took steps to maintain education funding. And he noted districts also had local and federal funding sources available.
Alan Rupe, an attorney for students and school districts, argued Monday that the spending cuts contribute to lingering achievement gaps.
The trial is scheduled to last three weeks. Any decision is expected to be appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court.
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