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Kansas Lawmakers Disagree on Bill That Would Allow State Funds to be Used for Private Education | CUR 89.3

If passed, HB 2218, also known as the Sunflower Education Equity Act, will allow student health care providers in grades K-12 to receive $5,000 in state education funding to apply for their choice of educational curriculum .

Rep. Kristey Williams, a Republican representing a district just east of Wichita, introduced the bill. He says not all students excel in public school.

“Right now we are seeing that our public schools are unable to meet the needs of many of our students,” Williams says, pointing to the state’s low reading literacy.

The bill puts the money into a flexible spending account that families can use to fund the education they feel is best suited to their children’s needs: private school, homeschool, microschool, tutoring, or other educational opportunities.

“[W]We need to break with the status quo and give the opportunity, the freedom to educate our students to our parents,” Williams says.

Critics of the bill say it does not include any oversight of the educational materials it would pay for. They say the tax dollars could be used to teach neo-Nazism, critical race theory, or other topics.

“Under this bill, taxpayers would be required to pay for the neo-Nazi curriculum presented as an expense,” says Congresswoman Mari-Lynn Poskin, a Democrat representing suburban Kansas City who opposes the bill.

“We don’t need to require Kansas taxpayers to pay for that resume,” says Poskin.

Williams says arithmetic, social studies, history, English and grammar are compulsory, but how they are taught is up to the families.

“[R]adjusting it does not guarantee success,” says Williams.

  • Representative Kristey Williams, R-Augusta
  • Representative Mari-Lynn Poskin, D-Overland Park

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