Education bill in a Kansas house committee could have unintended consequences

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WICHITA, Kansas (KSN) – Funding for public education in Kansas has been front and center for some time, and KSN has heard from many viewers who say they want their voices heard.

The latest political maneuver over education funding the Kansas Legislature is a substitute house bill now in the House Committee on Education that could change some popular education programs.

The purpose of House Bill 2292 is to eliminate Common Core.  But, under that bill all Advance Placement and International Baccalaureate classes would need to be aligned with Kansas state standards.

Since those classes are not alligned, the bill would effectively eliminate those programs for Kansas students.

For students currently taking AP or IB courses, the idea of losing them seems unfathomable.

“IB has been crucial in my high school experience and it’s definitely been really crucial to deciding where I go to college and what I want to major in and everything,” said I-B student Parnia Razinobakhd.

For parents, the idea of the classes going away is equally foreign.

A good public education is one of the most important things that you can offer in a functional democracy and to try and take that away from people is just…is criminal,” said Allison Celik, a parent.

Some argue taking away AP or IB classes would mean taking away the competitive edge those courses ive students when they’re applying for college.

Bobby Gandu is the director of admissions at Wichita State University.

“If we see a student has AP or IB credit on their academic transcript then we’re going to really consider that that student has had some rigor in their high school classes,” said Gandu.

But, for educators who work with students every day, the loss would mean much more than fewer rigorous credits.

“The biggest satisfaction I’ve had in the last eight years working with these students is seeing the drive passion that they have and seeing a vehicle such as IB course work in particular facilitate that for them. If that would be gone, so too would that passion and drive of the students,” said Wichita Public Schools Advance Placement and International Baccalaureate coordinator Steven Shook.

The next step in the legislative process would be for the the bill to come up for a vote in the education committee, and if it passes to be referred to the full house for consideration.

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