Thursday, November 27, 2014

House education funding bill ties fix to private, charter school expansion

By The Herald Staff | 3/21/2014

TOPEKA — Kansas House Republicans introduced a bill to fully fund poor school districts, but the move ties the funds to policy changes that would expand the choices for parents to decide which schools their children will attend, according to the Associated Press.

The bill was introduced Thursday by the House Appropriations Committee, and is expected to receive hearings next week, according to the report.

TOPEKA — Kansas House Republicans introduced a bill to fully fund poor school districts, but the move ties the funds to policy changes that would expand the choices for parents to decide which schools their children will attend, according to the Associated Press.

The bill was introduced Thursday by the House Appropriations Committee, and is expected to receive hearings next week, according to the report.

To comply with the recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling, the bill would increase the state’s funding by $129 million to poor school districts in July. But the policy changes would allow parents to send their children to private schools, as well as create more state chartered schools, which have more freedom than standard public schools, supporters of the measure said.

“If we’re going to spend more money, we’ve got to get some policy stuff,” state Rep. Ray Merrick, R-Stillwell, and Republican House Speaker, said. “To me that’s only logical.”

Gov. Sam Brownback, in a news release on Thursday, said the state needs to raise funding to get money back to the classroom and students.

“My highest priority is that dollars need to go to the classroom and our students,” Brownback said. “I appreciate the hard work of the Legislature in addressing this important issue. We will fix it.”

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