Proposed bill could put Kansas students at risk

The legislation is woefully short of the necessary oversight of private schools.

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Columnists

April 6, 2021 - 9:36 AM

In its current state, a bill before the Kansas legislature to help at-risk students might actually put at-risk students at greater risk.

More opportunities for low income students who are behind academically is something virtually all Kansas endorse. However, problems arise when legislation proposes to award state tax dollars to private enterprise, in this case private schooling.

Sharon Iorio/Insight Kansas

At this writing, House Bill 2119 has undergone additions and revisions as in HB2067, but the proposed legislation remains designed to increase tax-credit funded scholarships for students designated high-risk by their schools. At the same time, the legislation would allow state tax dollars to be parceled into Education Savings Accounts of approximately $4,500 per year (the base per pupil funding) for high-poverty, under-achieving students who may draw on the funds for private school tuition and other educational needs. Those needs can cover a range of services from transportation to a private school, to textbooks to online learning. 

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