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Committee Delays Recommendations On Revamping Kansas Education

Christopher Sessums
flickr Creative Commons

A Kansas legislative committee has delayed work on a report that recommends ways to overhaul public schools. The committee is supposed to review K-12 education and make recommendations the Legislature can use when writing a new school funding formula.

Republican state Rep. Ron Ryckman moved to delay work on the final report. He says that will give legislative staffers a chance to review the document and identify where individual suggestions are coming from.

“I think if you weren’t able to sit in and listen to the testimony, you’d want to see where the comments came from. You can then use that as a document to guide your decisions going forward as we face a new formula,” Ryckman says.

The draft recommendations range from outsourcing many functions in schools to throwing out the current state tests. Democratic state Rep. Ed Trimmer says the report is based only on conservative ideas.

“None of the other side of those issues was even provided. It was just basically a one-side point of view, and it was a very anti-education point of view, in my opinion,” Trimmer says.

The committee chairman who wrote the report, Republican state Rep. Ron Highland, says he thinks it’s fair.

“We’re all human. We see things a little differently, all parties do, and that’s just part of it. I thought it was fair, yes. Everybody has their say. They had their say today. Let’s redo it and start again,” Highland says.

They’ll work more on the recommendations after the legislative session kicks off next week.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Radio covering health, education and politics.