School funding bill defeated in Kansas Legislature

Local teachers believe the termination of the bill was for the best of faculty, students and public education as a whole

Carly Walker , Reporter

The fight over education funding showcased the divide between the two political parties. (Adrian Sanders)

Last week, a bill was discussed and voted down 17 yeas to 20 nays in regards to Kansas’s education system. The Sunflower Education Equity bill contained different opportunities for education among students. It would have allowed parents the opportunity to enroll their children in an educational program of their choosing. Parents had the chance to receive up to $5,000 in funding including full tuition for private schools. 

The original bill was passed in the Senate during late February and barely passed through the House in mid March, making it a controversial topic for several months.

The bill gives the idea that kids will receive more options and more opportunities for choices in schools, when really schools are getting the choice to pick which kids they want first, according to Aaron Cox, teacher at Christa McAuliffe Academy, who did not support the bill.

Proponents of the bill said it would have created a choice of which school to attend. Graphic by Adrian Sanders

Kevin Frye, an English teacher at Maize High School, did not support the bill for many reasons regarding the uncertainty and unfairness it would have caused. “Within the system it removes some of the predictability in terms of preparation for kids,” Frye said. 

Although most of the public education community was against the bill and focused on the downside of it, some believe it could have benefited the education system. The House Bill document No.2218 promised “educational freedom.” Parents could’ve had the opportunity to choose a school based on which environment would suit their child best. Cox disagrees. “It takes money away from public education,” Cox said. 

As of now, the bill is defeated, however many don’t believe the battle is over. “I truly believe that there is political posturing in place to essentially implode the public educational system,” Frye said.