Former KASB president, state Rep. Fred Patton, appointed chair of House K-12

State Rep. Fred Patton, R-Topeka, has been named chairman of the House K-12 Education Budget Committee to replace Larry Campbell, who resigned his legislative seat to become Gov. Jeff Colyer’s state budget director. 

Patton served as president of KASB from 2010 to 2012 and is currently president of the Seaman USD 345 school board on which he has served 15 years. 

Patton is in his second term in the Kansas House where he represents northern and western Shawnee County, Dover, Silver Lake and Willard.  

In taking over as chairman of the committee that works on school finance, Patton said, “As legislators, we have the dual responsibility to balance the financial needs of our schools and other essential services with the fiscal realities we all face as taxpayers. My priority is to lead a fair process where all ideas are on the table and fully vetted.” 

Patton said the committee would focus on preliminary work while the Legislature awaits the results of the cost study it commissioned earlier this year. The cost study, being conducted by a Texas A&M professor is scheduled to be completed by March 15.  

“This study will serve as an additional resource to help us make prudent decisions,” said Patton. “But, in order to talk about funding our schools in the 21st century, we need 21st century data.” 

Patton was selected chairman by House Speaker Ron Ryckman, R-Olathe. “With the Legislature facing the Supreme Court’s imposed deadline, it is important that the committee continue work with a chairman who understands the needs of schools and other core services,” said Ryckman. “Representative Patton’s experience as a school board member and as an attorney will bring pragmatic leadership to the legislative process and school finance discussion.” 

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