House narrowly approves education proposal to fund private schools

Kansas Republicans rallied to pass a bill, 64-61, that would funnel state tax dollars to unregulated private schools.


State News

March 16, 2023 - 2:53 PM

Speaker of the House Rep. Dan Hawkins rallied Republican representatives to vote in favor of a controverisal education proposal during a House meeting. Photo by (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — The Kansas House passed a wide-ranging bill funneling state funding to unregulated private schools after holdups due to bipartisan concern about the proposal’s effects.

The vote was initially divided, 60 for and 64 against, with Republicans breaking rank to vote with the 40-member Democratic bloc during the Wednesday House meeting. One Democrat voted in favor of the program. Following the first vote, leaders issued a call of the House, locking the doors and calling up members to see whether members would change their votes.

Rep.  Kenneth Collins, a Mulberry Republican, changed his vote fairly quickly. After about an hour’s delay, Reps. Samantha Poetter-Parshall and Robyn Essex switched their votes and Rep. Bill Sutton returned to the House to vote, making the final vote 64 for and 61 against.

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