Last Minute Budget Addendum and Deadline Pressure Leads to Questionable Program Approval

Jun 19, 2013

Representative Marc Rhoades

In the midst of conference committee negotiations, with dozens of bargaining items on the table, Representative and House Appropriations Committee Chair, Marc Rhoades, presented a $12 million grant program earmarked for Educational Design Solutions.  Dave Ranney reported in a  recent article by the Kansas Institute of Health the Senate agreed to this addition partially out of desire to end the drawn out session to a close. 

Educational Design Solutions, or EDS,  is co-owned by Don Fast of rural Harvey County.  It is the sole licensing agent for Lexia Reading which is an instructional software package for schools.  EDS is used in Kansas, primarily in the Wichita area, where officials say it is effective and plan on increasing use. 

It is not typical for an expenditure to be designated for a specific company or product.  Fast said he does not have a financial relationship with Rhoades.  Rhoades said he was unaware of Educational Designs or Fast, until Fast visited him this session.    Read more here.