TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — State funds for Kansas’ public schools have been held up as Republican lawmakers push for policies critics say would punish educators for court rulings that forced the GOP-controlled Legislature to boost its spending.
A legislative proposal ties $6.4 billion in spending to policies pushed by conservative Republicans, including an “open enrollment” proposal to allow parents to send their children to any public school with enough space. Another provision would restrict surveys of students’ families, their beliefs, mental health, or drug or alcohol abuse. A third would expand a state-funded college scholarship program to students outside Kansas.
Republicans drafted the measure before lawmakers began their annual spring break earlier this month, to settle differences between the House and Senate. When legislators reconvene April 25, they must decide whether to add more money for special education programs and whether to link dollars to policy changes.