July 14, 2024

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Built General Tough

Kansas legislators compromised on omnibus education bill, school issues

Sharon Hartin Iorio

On May 7, the atmosphere at the Kansas Statehouse felt like one of those unforeseen pivotal moments — where things fraught with controversy just seem to come together. It happened through a surprisingly broad collaboration on education policy and finance.

After months of argumentative debate supported by well-funded special interest groups, less well-funded teacher and administrative groups and a range of individuals, compromise descended upon legislators.

Major provisions of an omnibus education bill were negotiated. The bill’s final language has not been made public; however, because of its large size and scope, opportunities for further debate and scrutiny likely will be limited. But, it’s possible for last-minute changes to be made at the Legislature’s final session in late May.

Beyond a commitment to fund the Kansas Supreme Court ruling in the Gannon school finance case, the Legislature compromised on other controversial issues.