Rep. Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, raised eyebrows last year when he earmarked $12 million over two years to a company in his district that sells reading software for schools. There was no request for proposal or evaluation by state education leaders. Shortly after the earmark became public, the company, Educational Design Solutions, changed its registered address from Newton to Walton, just outside of Rhoades’ district, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. Then the next month, it changed registration again, to Basehor, a suburb of Kansas City. A company leader told the Capital-Journal that the moves were already planned and unrelated to the scrutiny over the earmark. Another concern about the earmark was that the money came from the Children’s Initiatives Fund, without any input from its cabinet. In November, the cabinet voted against the second year of funding, but it will be up to lawmakers to listen.
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