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Galena School Superintendent Heads to Topeka to Fight Senate Bil - KOAM TV 7

Galena School Superintendent Heads to Topeka to Fight Senate Bill 311

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GALENA, KANSAS -

   A bill in the Kansas senate would change who controls education funds.

    It would take some authority away from the Department of Education and give it to the governor's office.

Local school superintendent  Brian Smith is heading to Topeka on Thursday to fight Senate bill 311.

Smith said, "I really feel like this might be an attack on the state Department of Education.” When asked why Smith said, “Because they kind of stand up to legislature. They point out flaws in their bills. And they don’t want to hear it.”

Smith will head to Topeka to testify against the bill at a committee hearing. He's concerned the governor will delay payments to schools and even tap districts reserve funds.

Smith said, "That’s like borrowing  from Kansas Department of Transportation to put off, kick the can down the road. But it’s not gonna solve the problem and that’s the concern that they'll take our reserves and they won’t send us our money on time and we won’t be able to make payroll."

Smith said it is  something not only teachers but parents should be concerned about because of the message it sends when it comes to the states constitution.

Smith said, "I think they should be very concerned for several reasons. The first is that it would violate the constitution and the constitution is the document that governs our state. And if they violate  the constitution on this, what else are they willing to violate the constitution on."

The state constitution establishes the Department of Education  in article six.

Senator Jake La Turner from southeast Kansas disagrees with the bill.

 La Turner said  control of education  funding is quote, "Fine where it is. It's worked well. I don't see a need to do it."

And Smith added, "There’s nothing wrong with the current system. It doesn't need fixing. It’s very efficient and it really would cost the state more money  to change it. So there’s no reason to do it."

    The senate hearing on the bill is tomorrow.

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