Topeka The State Board of Education has gained international attention over its treatment of evolution and other matters.
Now, some board members want their often contentious meetings broadcast worldwide.
Last week, the board seemed in agreement on going forward with trying to audio stream its meetings through the Internet.
"This would be a great benefit not just to Kansas folks, but worldwide," said board member John Bacon, a Republican from Olathe.
The board asked its staff to come up with a proposal with Kan-Ed, a communications network administered by the Kansas Board of Regents, to audio stream the meetings.
At first, Bacon wanted to have the State Department of Education handle the broadcast, but the startup cost of $17,500 and necessary staff time raised concerns with other board members.
"The board has been burning through money," said Bill Wagnon, a Democrat from Topeka.
Hal Gardner, director of Kan-Ed, offered the services for free, saying that broadcasting meetings related to schools "is what we do." Kan-Ed is designed to connect public institutions, schools, hospitals and libraries to broadband Internet service.
One concern was over Kan-Ed having the capability to handle all those who wanted to listen to the meetings, especially when highly controversial issues were before the board.
For example, in October or November, the conservative board members, who hold a 6-4 majority, are expected to give final approval to controversial science standards that criticize evolution.
"I'd hate to blow the network up," said Janet Waugh, a moderate Democrat from Kansas City, Kan.
Gardner said Kan-Ed would monitor the broadcast closely to make sure the audio streaming worked and the quality was sound.
Board members also said they would shut off the audio streaming during the period of their meeting in which the public is allowed to speak to the board.
Abrams said he didn't want someone who made a personal verbal attack on a board member to be heard throughout the world.