New Faces Lead Kan. Legislative Education Panels

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Veteran conservative Kansas legislators with diverse backgrounds but similar mailing addresses will be at the center of education debates during the 2013 legislative session, one that is expected to renew discussion on policy issues long relegated to the back burner.

Sen. Steve Abrams and Rep. Kasha Kelley, both Arkansas City Republicans, were tapped earlier in December to lead their chamber's education committees.

Abrams brings nearly 20 years of elected education leadership, including a stint on the State Board of Education, while Kelley brings experience serving as vice chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Education lobbyists aren't surprised by the choice of Abrams as committee chairman given his background, while Kelley's selection is a bit of an unknown considering she's never served on the committee since being elected in 2004.