Kansas lawmakers are sinking school choice, and the K-12 education budget remains the same

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Rep. Christy Williams, R-Augusta, Looks Into The Camera After Passage Of An Amendment To Sb 83 Last Month.

Republican lawmakers saw a negotiated school choice proposal fail early Friday morning in the Kansas Senate amid staunch opposition from public education advocates, while the fate of an education budget that districts say will cost them hundreds of millions of dollars remains in question.

School districts criticized the choice proposal, Senate Bill 83, which would also have included the first year of Governor Laura Kelly’s plan to increase funding for private education, as school vouchers. Supporters argued that it was a way to help low-income students and give parents greater educational freedom.

The Senate has killed similar proposals in the past, most notably in the dramatic 2021 vote. But lawmakers were optimistic they would have a different outcome this year, even though Kelly’s veto was hard to handle.