School District Opposition Stalls Kansas Senate Bill 311

A scheduled hearing on a measure that would give the governor more control over school finance has been cancelled after educators across the state flooded lawmakers with emails opposing the bill.

Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Ty Masterson, an Andover Republican, on Thursday blamed education interest groups for stirring controversy about the measure.

Senate Bill 311 would take control of school finance away from the Kansas Department of Education which answers to the state board of education, and give it instead to the Department of Administration which answers directly to Gov. Sam Brownback. Masterson says the bill would increase transparency of the school finance process.

Opponents such as Sen. Laura Kelly, a Topeka Democrat, called the bill an unconstitutional executive power grab.

Masterson said he doesn’t plan to revisit the issue this year due to the opposition.