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As the state legislative session heats up, Elizabeth Patton, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Kansas, and Brittany Jones, director of advocacy at Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, teamed up to make a pitch for K-12 reforms “to provide innovative educational solutions as diverse and unique as our kids are.”
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted gaps in our educational system. School closures forced parents, students, and teachers, to find innovative ways to respond. Many did. And now the system itself needs to catch up.
As Patton and Jones explain in a joint op-ed in the Wichita Eagle, the state’s largest newspaper, “in extraordinary times or ordinary times, flexibility and options are the keys to success.”
A bill making its way through the state legislature would expand an existing tax credit scholarship program to more families and create education savings accounts for some students. ESAs allow families to use their share of state per pupil funding on a variety of educational options such as private schools, virtual schools, tutoring, textbooks, and other education-related expenses.
While AFP’s long-term goal is to have ESAs available to every family, the legislation now on tap in Kansas would launch the program with accounts for at-risk kids, a good first step.
“We believe every kid counts, Patton and Jones write in the Eagle. “Who our kids want to become should not be limited by where they live, where their parents work, or by anyone’s idea of who they are.”
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