Kansas to consider controversial school board bill

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Chances are you know at least one person who works in or for a school district. But that could ban you from ever being on a school board in Kansas.

“If my brother drove a bus in a district 200 miles away, I could not serve on a board in my district,” says Jeff Meyer who served on a school board in Stafford County. While sitting on the board in the South Central Kansas district, he was also owner of an electrical, heating and air company that worked with the school.

“There is conflict of interest, there’s no doubt about that and that was when we would recuse ourselves from the meetings.”

Today at the statehouse, there was an overview of bill 2345. If that bill would have existed during Meyer’s term, he would have been kicked off the board.

“We aren’t seeing a pattern of problems that would require a change,” says Mark Tallman with the Kansas Association of School Boards says if this proposed bill is passed, “this would go dramatically beyond what is currently provided by law and would go dramatically beyond what is set up for any other elected officials.”

Representative John Bradford, who introduced the bill, says situations like that was an oversight, “that was not the intent of the bill, the intent of the bill was more locally focused.”

But oversight or not , Bradford says he stands behind the bill, “I’m glad it’s getting the attention that we thought it deserved initially and I’m looking forward to seeing what does come out of it.”

Friday’s session was about getting a better understanding about this bill, which will be active in the 2016 legislative session which starts in January.

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