For the second time in the past year, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the state is not spending enough on public schools. Governor Sam Brownback has tried to prove that he could be the nation’s leading tax-cutter, but his tax cuts have generated large budget deficits. Now that he is under court order to raise education spending, his response is not to come up with new money but to offer school choice. This lays bare the rationale for school choice as a way to cut costs and to avoid providing adequate resources.

In a unanimous ruling, the court said black, Hispanic and poor students were especially harmed by the lack of funding, pointing to lagging test scores and graduation rates. The justices set a June 30 deadline for lawmakers to pass a new constitutional funding formula, sending them scrambling to find more money to pay for a solution.

This is the second time in about a year that Kansas’ highest court has ruled against the state’s approach to paying for schools, just as Mr. Brownback finds himself wrestling with growing budget deficits and as his relations with fellow Republicans have deteriorated to new lows.

Mr. Brownback, who has made cutting taxes and shrinking government the centerpiece of his administration since taking office in 2011, championed the largest tax cuts in state history, turning Kansas into a national testing ground for his staunchly conservative philosophy. But the state has since struggled with gaping deficits, and patience has run thin, even among some former allies.

Just last month, the Republican-dominated Legislature approved a tax increase that would have raised more than $1 billion to help narrow the budget gap — a bold rejection of Mr. Brownback’s vision. In the end, the governor vetoed the measure, and he barely survived an override attempt. The school funding ruling now adds yet another layer of fiscal trouble for Kansas and political tumult for Mr. Brownback.

“Either the governor will have to bend, or we have to get enough votes in the House and Senate to override him,” Dinah Sykes, a Republican state senator, said, noting that lawmakers will have to get to work immediately to find money in the budget to satisfy the court’s requirements. “I thought that the tax plan that we put on his desk that was vetoed, I thought that was a compromise,” Ms. Sykes said.

Governor Brownback doesn’t want to raise taxes, he doesn’t want to provide extra funding, so he turns to choice as his only answer:

Mr. Brownback, who is barred by term limits from seeking re-election next year, has faced plunging approval ratings and increasingly criticism from the moderate wing of the Republican Party. In a statement, he acknowledged that some students in Kansas had not received a suitable education, calling for a new funding formula to “right this wrong.”

“The Kansas Legislature has the opportunity to engage in transformative educational reform by passing a school funding system that puts students first,” Mr. Brownback said. “Success is not measured in dollars spent, but in higher student performance.”

He made a pitch for schools outside of the public education system, suggesting that parents “should be given the opportunity and resources to set their child up for success through other educational choices.”

The hollowness of this offer is transparent.