Education groups on Monday announced their opposition to HB 2068, which would greatly expand tax credits to send students to private schools. A hearing on the bill is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26, before the House K-12 Education Budget Committee. The Senate Education Committee also has scheduled a hearing for 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26, on the tax credits program, although a bill number has not been cited. Below is the statement:

Kansas public school advocates on Monday announced their opposition to HB 2068.
This bill would expand the use of Kansans’ taxes to send students to private schools, which face fewer, if any,  accountability requirements for student outcomes than public schools. Private schools that refuse to participate in the state school accreditation program where student performance results are reported, would be eligible for state tax funding under this legislation. In addition, private schools will face no oversight for the expenditure of taxpayer dollars under this measure.

Under this bill, there is no requirement that would prevent private schools from selecting and recruiting high achieving students, both academically and athletically, while keeping their doors shut to students who need more help.

HB 2068 would allow private schools to deny admission based on religion, gender, sexual orientation, or performance on an admissions test and still receive taxpayer funding. In addition, there is no requirement that would prevent a private school from denying children entrance because of a disability, or learning or behavioral challenge.

Tax credits that reduce revenue for public schools, which have yet to be restored to full funding levels, and other state priorities is unfair because they increase the tax burden on everyone else, including struggling Kansas families.

We believe in creating opportunities for all Kansans through sound, well-funded public schools that benefits everyone. The taxpayer dollars earmarked for the program in HB 2068 would be better spent by investing in early childhood programs or providing after-school and summer tutoring programs which would serve many more children with real educational needs. Public dollars should be used for public education for the public good.

  • Kansas Association of School Boards
  • Kansas National Education Association
  • United School Administrators of Kansas
  • Schools for Quality Education
  • Game On for Kansas Schools

Let legislators know what you think

It is very important that legislators hear from you about these bills. We know that anti-public schools organizations including the Kansas Policy Institute are organizing efforts to convince people to support sending your tax dollars to unaccountable private schools.

Start with the members of the Senate Education Committee and the House K-12 Education Budget Committee. Those legislators are: