A district court panel in Kansas has declared that key parts of a new state law for funding public schools violate the state constitution.

The three-judge panel in Shawnee County District Court ruled Friday that the law fails to distribute more than $4 billion a year so that all children receive a suitable education.

The state is expected to appeal the ruling to the Kansas Supreme Court.

The new law scrapped an older per-pupil distribution formula in favor of predictable grants to the state's 286 school districts based on the funds they received before the law changed.

The law was challenged by the Dodge City, Hutchinson, Wichita and Kansas City, Kansas, school districts. They argued that it distributed state funds in ways that harmed programs for poor and minority students.