Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lawmaker resigns leadership amid Kansas education funding dispute

By The Herald Staff | 3/31/2014

TOPEKA — State Rep. Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, resigned from his position as the House Appropriations Committee chairman Monday in protest of the state’s handling of the school finance bill, according to media reports.

Before two hearings on a K-12 education funding proposal aimed to satisfy a Kansas Supreme Court ruling, Rhoades submitted his resignation to House Speaker Ray Merrick. Rhoades was not happy with the process that created the funding proposal, according to media reports. He issued a short statement saying the bill had “gone through numerous alterations outside the committee process without the committee once having worked the bill.”

TOPEKA — State Rep. Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, resigned from his position as the House Appropriations Committee chairman Monday in protest of the state’s handling of the school finance bill, according to media reports.

Before two hearings on a K-12 education funding proposal aimed to satisfy a Kansas Supreme Court ruling, Rhoades submitted his resignation to House Speaker Ray Merrick. Rhoades was not happy with the process that created the funding proposal, according to media reports. He issued a short statement saying the bill had “gone through numerous alterations outside the committee process without the committee once having worked the bill.”

Rhoades said the proposed funding bill went beyond what was needed to address the court’s ruling to equalize payments to poor school districts, and would be unsustainable with the state’s current revenues, according to media reports.

“None of the spending is tied to measureable education outcomes,” Rhoades said. “I regret I see no option but, respectfully, to resign as chair of appropriations to allow leadership to move forward.”

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled March 7 that the state’s K-12 education funding was inadequate and funds needed to be restored to poor school districts to make up for the inequity. The ruling said the state had until July 1 to fix the issue.

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