Motion to Strike Misleading Statements from State’s Brief

Posted on Updated on

Group of Elementary Pupils In Classroom

Motion to Strike filed.  2017-07-13 Motion to Strike Misleading KSBE Statements (1)      Last Friday was the filing deadline for the response briefs after the initial briefs were filed the week before. We filed ours and the State filed its.  As we processed the State response brief last weekend, we became concerned with the section titled:

“The State Board of Education’s budget request was not based on the Rose standards or on the costs of providing a constitutionally adequate education.”

In this section of the State’s brief the State cites Minutes of legislative hearings where Commissioner Watson testified.

The brief says:

Commissioner Watson explained, “[w]hen the State Board set forth their budget, they had a premise that school districts would use such funds within the State Board model to help students be successful in line with the State Board’s ‘complex goals,’ not the Rose standards.” Minutes of May 22, 2017, Senate Select Committee on Education Finance at p. 3 (emphasis added). Commissioner Watson explained that the desired “outcomes” under the BOE’s “complex goals” exceed the Rose capacities in many ways. Minutes of May 22, 2017, Senate Select Committee on Education Finance at p. 2.

This was not our memory of how Dr. Watson testified. We were recording most of the legislative hearings this year, so we went back and actually listened to the recordings again to see what Dr. Watson actually said. He did not say or imply the items above. The Minutes that were prepared and submitted to the Court do not correctly portray the hearing or his comments.

Also, recall that the legislature hired former Sen. Jeff King to advise it on these topics. When he came on board, he took charge of monitoring the Minute process. Here is how HE characterized what he was going to do… We had that recorded also.

King: During your debate, I listened to, the level of thoughtfulness and reasoning and consideration of why these amendments would go on or not from a performance based standard, was very high. And the minutes will reflect that because there was so much information. And that is very helpful and one of my jobs is to make sure that is packaged in a way the Court accepts it, sees it and considers it fully. . . .

Rooker: So if I may, you mentioned having listened to our marathon work session, but are you also evaluating the other 3 months of committee work? Because we’ve had hearings on specific elements of this formula over the course of this session.

King: The answer is yes, I’m still working on it. That is part of making sure that everything in the minutes reflect what’s done . . . and so that’s an ongoing process and to me if there’s any frustration with delays and getting the minutes compiled, I will take responsibility for that. Because I think it’s that important that we review it and

It is apparent that the legislative minutes do not accurately reflect the testimony of
the hearings. The minutes have been prepared or supplemented with material to support
the State’s position with testimony that simply did not occur. It is either
extraordinarily coincidental or intentional. Regardless, the indicated arguments and
portions of the State’s brief should be stricken as not supported by the evidence.