Governor decries ‘wedge issues’

Kelly used her annual State of the State address to decry what she called efforts to “turn parents against teachers” and “communities against their schools.”

By

State News

January 25, 2023 - 3:51 PM

Gov. Laura Kelly stands outside the House chamber before her State of the State speech Tuesday. KANSAS REFLECTOR/SHERMAN SMITH

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly called Tuesday for Kansas officials to stop distracting themselves with “wedge issues” in education, sharply rebuking a Republican-controlled Legislature pursuing policies catering to conservative parents unhappy with public schools.

Kelly used her annual State of the State address to decry what she called efforts to “turn parents against teachers” and “communities against their schools.” She wasn’t specific, but top Republicans have promised to pursue several ideas in vogue in GOP-led states, including restrictions on what public K-12 schools can teach about gender and sexuality.

Republican lawmakers plan to pursue a measure to allow parents to claim tax dollars previously earmarked for public schools to cover private or home schooling costs. Iowa’s GOP-controlled Legislature approved such a plan early Tuesday. Kelly strongly opposes the idea.

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