Pivotal moment for Kansas schools

SPARK committee's actions will have an impact for at least a decade.

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Columnists

January 7, 2022 - 3:31 PM

Iola High School. PHOTO by KLAIR VOGEL

The executive board of SPARK, a Kansas committee of appointed leaders proposed late last month to divvy up some $150 million of Kansas federal COVID relief funding. For K-12 schools, $4 million was proposed for electronic access projects and $50 million divided into $1,000 stipends for families of low-income/low performing students to buy approved educational materials and services. The remainder was proposed to go to economic development.  

The total American Rescue Plan Act funding for all Kansas institutions named in the legislation will be about $5 billion.

SPARK stands for Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas. The executive board is made up of elected officials, business executives and community members. Four advisory panels inform the board after which it recommends allocations to the Kansas State Finance Council, a bi-partisan legislative group chaired by the governor. 

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