Students join in the call for school choice at the Kansas capitol

(The Sentinel) — It was standing — and sitting on the floor –room-only, as some 200 students and educators from as far away as Wichita joined advocates in urging legislators to adopt School Choice in an energetic rally at the State Capitol.

The state has moved toward School Choice in recent years, enacting Open Enrollment and tax credits for scholarships for low-income students. Speakers and their enthusiastic audience called for Kansas to join the nearly two-dozen states enacting a K-12 education funding plan in which “the dollars follow the students.” Nearby Iowa is the latest to join the list.

Among the speakers was Brittany Jones, Director of Policy with Kansas Family Voice, who noted School Choice is pro-family:

“Real school choice would unlock every family’s ability to make the best educational decisions for their family no matter their bank account or zip code. Soon Kansas families will be able to utilize an open enrollment policy passed by their legislators last year. Hundreds of Kansas children are already receiving scholarships made available by the Low-income Student Tax Credit. While this helps some students, it is not giving kids all the resources they need. That’s why we have to pass the Sunflower Education Equity Act.”

She says Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signing a school choice bill into law in the Hawkeye State could be a springboard for similar legislation in Kansas:

“We applaud our neighbors to the north for passing their own Education Savings Account. There is so much momentum across the country. We feel that momentum in Kansas too. I have never before seen so many people who are knowledgeable and excited about the opportunities that Education Savings Accounts could bring. I do believe we can pass this law this year! Kansas families deserve that.”

House Bill 2048, expanding the tax credits for low-income students to attend the school of their choosing, received a hearing recently in the Legislature, and education savings account legislation is expected to soon have a hearing.

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