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Kansas Bill Could Have Big Impact On Local School Boards

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Stephen Koranda
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KPR/File Photo

A bill before the Kansas Legislature is aimed at avoiding conflicts of interest on local school boards. But as KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, it could make nearly half of current school board members ineligible for their jobs.

To avoid conflicts of interest, the bill would bar anyone from serving on a school board if a family member works for a school district.

Jeff Meyer, who formally served on the Stafford school board in central Kansas, told a legislative panel that in rural areas schools are often the largest employers, meaning many people have a family member working for the schools.

“It could and will be devastating on small communities because it’s almost impossible to find people to serve in these capacities. It would make that even harder,” Meyer says.

Several current and former school board members say they already have processes in place to avoid conflicts of interest.

Lawmakers on the panel seemed skeptical of the bill, calling it unnecessary. The panel ultimately decided not to recommend the bill for passage.