Hiawatha lawmaker proposes amendment to keep schools open

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) — A Kansas state senator says he wants to prevent a court-ordered school closure.

Republican Dennis Pyle, of Hiawatha, says he plans to propose an amendment to the state constitution that would give local school boards exclusive authority to close schools.

He contends closing all schools because of a lawsuit brought by a handful of districts is a "bullying tactic."

The courts have argued they are not ordering the schools to close, but if lawmakers do not pass a law that meets constitutional muster, there's no mechanism by which to distribute state money to schools.

To pass an amendment, lawmakers would have to pass the measure with a two-thirds majority - and then it would have to be put to a public vote.