‘Frankenstein’ Bill moves through state legislature


Design by Brylie Reese

The Frankenstein Bill would allow state funding for private schools.

Brylie Reese

The “Frankenstein” Sub House Bill 2119, introduced on Jan. 22, sets out to change the format of funding for private and public schools. The bill will allow state funding to go to private schools for the first time in the state’s history.

“States have a certain amount of money that they spend per student,” said social sciences teacher Claire Haflich. “In Kansas, if students meet certain qualifications, typically that they aren’t receiving a high-quality education at their public school, they can apply for a voucher which essentially directs the money away from their public school and instead put it towards private school tuition. It can also look like major tax breaks given to companies that give scholarships to qualifying students.”

Schools receive a certain amount of money per student that attends, and according to Kansasreflector.com, the voucher part of the bill alone can transfer as much as 200-300 million dollars of public school funding to private schools.

“A bill like this can create a voucher system that takes away dollars and resources,” said social sciences teacher Matthew Reitemeier. “These resources are things like desks, money for the bills, internet connections, but it is also for programs and extracurriculars that keep students engaged and excited for school. I worry that this bill might take away some of the funding for that or cause some of those things to be cut.”

Private schools do not have to abide by many of the restrictions and regulations that public schools have to keep their state funding.

“What is concerning to me is that government money is being used for private purposes, which I cannot get behind,” said junior Konnor McDaniel. “I would understand if the family’s tax money went to their charter schools since those are still public schools, but funding private entities with public money has never been okay to me.”

The “Frankenstein” bill, which has been amended at four times, also penalizes schools for online school by decreasing the amount schools get for students who remain virtual by almost a third of the standard rate.

What is concerning to me is that government money is being used for private purposes, which I cannot get behind”

— Konnor McDaniel

“We will not be offering remote live streaming options next year, but we will have a virtual school option for the small number of students who do not want to return to online learning,” said superintendent Dr. Jessica Dane. “I do not believe it will affect our funding for the small number of families who want to utilize the virtual school option we will be offering.”

On Mar. 30, the bill was moved to Emergency Final Action and the most recent substitute amendments was adapted with a vote of 65 for, and 58 against.

“From a functional standpoint, bills this large with so many moving parts often run into legal issues,” Haflich said. “If the bill passes, it’s possible parts could be repealed through the court system later.”

As of April 7, the bill has been referred to the senate Committee of Education. They will reconvene Monday, May 3.