Push for ‘school choice’ measure falters in Kansas Senate

Capitol Bureau

Kansas state Rep. Stephanie Clayton, left, D-Overland Park, confers with House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer, D-Wichita, during a debate over an education funding and policy bill, Thursday, April 8, 2021, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Democrats oppose the measure, which ties funding for public schools to a proposal to allow parents of academically struggling children to use state dollars normally earmarked for those schools for private schooling. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A split among Republicans has blocked a proposal from conservative Kansas lawmakers to allow parents of academically struggling students to pay for private schooling with state dollars normally earmarked for public schools.

A bill that ties public school funding to the proposal failed on a 20-20 vote in the GOP-controlled Senate.

The chamber had voted 19-19 against the measure Thursday night. It would set up education savings accounts for students at risk of failing in public schools.

The measure included Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s proposal for $5.2 billion in state aid for public schools.

Democrats said the measure could take millions of dollars from public schools for the savings accounts.

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