Topeka Two state senators who had opposed qualified admissions at state universities said Thursday that they have changed their minds.
The unexpected announcements by Sens. Frank Gaines, D-Augusta, and Richard Rock, D-Arkansas City, came during a Senate Ways and Means Committee discussion about the future of the Kansas Board of Regents system.
"I'm happy to report to you that I've changed my mind on qualified admissions," Gaines said.
Later, Rock dropped his own bombshell.
"I join my colleague from Butler in changing my position on qualified admissions. It's a very difficult political decision to reach," he said, referring to Gaines as the senator from Butler County.
Rock's statement prompted applause from Board of Regents and university officials.
The regents have made passage of qualified admissions at Kansas University and the five other state universities a top priority. Presently, the universities must admit all graduates of accredited Kansas high schools.
Only the Legislature has the authority to set statewide admission standards.