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Kansas House Committee To Consider Education Bill

The Kansas House Appropriations Committee will start hearings Monday on a budget bill to comply with a state Supreme Court ruling over education funding. But it looks like the issues in the bill will stretch beyond just school spending.

The budget bill before the committee includes other policy items like rewriting teacher licensure rules. Chairman Marc Rhoades, a Newton Republican, told committee members last week about the broad scope of the discussion.

"I'm not going to hold back discussion on anything. And so, bring it. Bring it next week and we'll have a discussion on it. And if you have people you want to testify, have them sign up," said Rhoades.

An expansion of charter schools in Kansas could also be included in the discussion. But some education advocates aren't happy with the wide-ranging topics.

"I think it's inappropriate to deal with policies in a budget bill. That's not where you deal with policy. These things have not been through the education committees, that's where they belong," said Mark Desetti, who is with the Kansas National Education Association, the state teachers' union. 

The Kansas Supreme Court says the state created unconstitutional funding disparities between wealthy and poorer school districts when lawmakers cut certain types of education funding.

As the Kansas News Service managing editor, I help our statewide team of reporters find the important issues and breaking news that impact people statewide. We refine our daily stories to illustrate the issues and events that affect the health, well-being and economic stability of the people of Kansas. Email me at skoranda@kcur.org.
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