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Kansas Statehouse Hearing On School Funding Change Abruptly Cancelled

Jim McClean
Heartland Health Monitor

The chairman of a Senate committee abruptly canceled a hearing today on a bill that would have changed the agency responsible for distributing school funding.

The bill would have moved the authority to distribute education money from the Department of Education to the Department of Administration, which is one of the governor’s cabinet agencies.

Republican Sen. Ty Masterson said there was misinformation spread about the bill. He says it wouldn’t cut education funding and wasn’t pursued in secrecy. Before he cancelled the hearing, Masterson criticized the tone of discourse and messages sent to him and other lawmakers.

“These are all just complete falsehoods that are floating out that that are, by the way, are creating angry, vile emails based on whole falsehoods and misconceptions,” Masterson said.

The Department of Education and education groups opposed the move, saying the current system works well. Democratic Sen. Laura Kelly called the bill a power grab.

“There was no justification for this bill in the first place. It’s very apparent that those who were proponents of this heard loud and clear from a lot of folks,” Kelly said.

Masterson says the proposal won’t be considered again by the committee this session.

Stephen Koranda is the managing editor of the Kansas News Service, based at KCUR. He has nearly 20 years of experience in public media as a reporter and editor.