Topeka House Speaker Ray Merrick has appointed two vocal critics of the state public school system to a commission that will make recommendations to the Legislature on how to make schools more efficient.
Merrick, R-Stilwell, appointed former House speaker Mike O'Neal, now president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, and Dave Trabert, president of the Kansas Policy Institute, a conservative think tank.
The K-12 Student Performance and Efficiency Commission was part of the school bill approved in April that provided additional funding to schools in response to a Kansas Supreme Court order, and a number of policy changes.
The nine-member commission will make recommendations to the Legislature before next year's legislative session.
The remaining members of the commission have not been announced. Three will be appointed by Gov. Sam Brownback, two by Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, and one each by Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, and House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence.
Trabert said he was honored to be appointed to the commission. "Public education costs a lot of money but a large body of research shows that student outcomes are impacted by how money is spent rather than how much," he said.