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It’s somehow reassuring to know that even as governments around the world race to address the coronavirus pandemic with appropriate urgency, you can find a Kansas legislator convinced that public schools are somehow asking for too much money.


Sound like a disconnect? You’re right.


But for Wichita Rep. Michael Capps, it seems to make perfect sense. The House was voting on a measured and sensible proposal as school districts across the state closed.


As the Topeka Capital-Journal’s Sherman Smith reported: The Kansas House swiftly passed a bill to relieve school districts of state-mandated attendance at public schools. ... House Speaker Ron Ryckman during a caucus meeting said the bill would allow schools to continue to pay all employees while schools are closed. The continued pay could help schools continue to provide food for children, he added.


But for Capps, this was a bridge too far. During a fanciful speech on the House floor, he called it a taxpayer-funded bailout and suggested that the schools should try to bring back students in June or July for extra classes.


Let’s be clear: This is nonsense, and we trust that everyone sees through it.


Let’s address the biggest point first. That is, Kansas educators are devoted to doing the best for our state’s kids. They will continue to offer instruction during the coming weeks but in different ways and with new technology.


It won’t be seamless, and it won’t be perfect. But it will most definitely be education.


The second point is more pragmatic. Given the losses seen elsewhere in our economy over the past few weeks, the security of continued employment makes a huge difference for teachers and their families. The money has been budgeted, and it should continue to be paid.


The state and country are only beginning to grapple with the economic fallout of shutting down whole sectors of the economy for weeks or months. We will no doubt have conversations about how to support these sectors and their workers. The Kansas House and Senate already took a good first step by extending unemployment benefits, but more will need to be done.


But stiffing teachers and school districts isn’t the answer.


We believe Kansas educators will rise to this occasion, and we believe that Kansas kids will continue to receive great instruction.