Kan. lawmakers pass bills allowing students to transfer to any district in state

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Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 5:57 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Most Kansas school districts accept student transfers on a case-by-case basis, but that could change in a couple of years. The Kansas House and Senate both passed bills that would require districts to implement a policy within the next two years to allow out-of-district students to enroll if they could do so.

Superintendent of Andover Public Schools Brett White says this legislation puts many districts in a difficult position and allows the state to overpower local school boards.’

“We heard a lot about local control during the pandemic. We often heard legislators talk about local control, and boards of education are the best ones to make decisions for the stakeholders in their district,” White said.

He said the change would pit neighboring districts against each other. Still, supporters say the bills’ goal is to provide equal opportunity for students, regardless of their family’s socioeconomic conditions.

“I guess diversity, equity, and inclusion are just things discussed and not implemented. This is about kids; this is about an opportunity for kids. This is about what’s best for kids, not the adults making those decisions,” said Sen. Renee Erickson, R-Wichita

For parents like Megan Kice, it’s not just an education issue. She says the bills create a tax issue since non-Andover residents’ tax dollars won’t go into the schools where their kids are sent.

“A $188 million bond issue passed that parents advocated for and got out in the community and educated our community about the needs for the district. Our local taxpayers are helping to fund a large chunk of our facilities and our schools, so that’s important,” Kice said.

Shs said she’s among many parents that have expressed their disapproval of the bill to their representatives’ and are disappointed in the decision.

“Their job is to represent their constituents. I don’t feel like they’ve done that in this case,” said Kice.

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