Conservatives drop ‘choice’ plan in Kansas school funding debate

The measure would have included funds for private schooling.

By

State News

May 7, 2021 - 3:07 PM

Sen. Brenda Dietrich, R-Topeka and Sen. Cindy Holscher, D-Overland Park. Dietrich credits the public school system where she was educated, taught and served as superintendent with much of her personal success. Photo by Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Conservative Republicans set aside their most ambitious proposal for helping Kansas parents move their children into private schools so that lawmakers could forge a bipartisan compromise Thursday night on education funding and policy.

Three state senators and three House members drafted the final version of a bill funding public schools as top Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature negotiated privately with Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly over the measure. They had yet to strike a deal Thursday night, but Republicans said GOP leaders and the governor were close.

Conservative wanted to tie an increase in aid to the state’s 286 local public school districts to “school choice” initiatives but were unable to pass a bill with that combination. Democrats and education groups would prefer to provide the money with no new strings.

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