GOP drops ‘choice’ plan in Kansas school funding debate

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Kansas state Sens. Molly Baumgardner, left, R-Louisburg; Renee Erickson, center, R-Wichita, and Dinah Sykes, D-Lenexa, huddle during talks with the House over the final version of school funding and education policy legislation, Thursday, May 6, 2021, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Their talks are under way even though Republican legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly have not struck a deal on education issues. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Conservative Republicans have set aside their most ambitious proposal for helping Kansas parents move their children into private schools so lawmakers could forge a bipartisan compromise on education funding and policy.

Three state senators and three House members drafted the final version of a bill funding public schools as top Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature negotiated with Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly over the measure. They had yet to strike a deal Thursday night.

The measure drafted by lawmakers includes Kelly’s proposal for a 5.3% increase in public school funding but not a proposal for state education savings accounts for students that could be used to pay for private schooling.

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