Understanding the influence of lobbying on decisions made by the Kansas House Education Committee, 1995 - 2006



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Kansas State University


Lobbying and lobbyists have been a part of the national policymaking landscape since the inception of this country. In addition, lobbying and lobbyists play a similar role in the policymaking in every state in the Union. Recent and past media reports of dishonest politicians in Washington, D.C. who have accepted expensive gifts from powerful and unscrupulous lobbyists do little to cause the general public, including legislators in Kansas, to trust those individuals whose role includes being a source of information legislators can access when making decisions about issues. The purpose of this study was to discover the nature of the influence on Kansas K-12 education policy that each type of registered education lobbyist had from 1995 – 2006. The influence lobbyists have had on Kansas K-12 education policy was identified through interviews with each type of registered education lobbyist and with legislators who have served as the chief leadership of the Kansas House Education Committee, as well as through an analysis of documents related to bills the Committee considered from 1995 – 2006. A qualitative method of inquiry, in the form of a case study, was selected by the researcher as the methodology around which to structure the research. The focus of this case study was to learn how lobbyists influenced the decisions made by members of the Kansas House Education Committee from 1995 – 2006. The study identifies the significant education issues of the Committee as determined by an expert panel of educators, the strategies registered lobbyists indicated they used in their attempt to influence legislators’ decisions, and the information sources which were perceived to influence the positions lobbyists and legislators took on education policy. As a case study, the research is “based on one person’s encounter with a complex case” (Creswell, p. 187); and includes analysis of the data; a discussion of the implications of the understandings drawn from the analysis of data, and suggestions for future research.



Lobbyist influence, K-12 education, Kansas legislators, Education, Kansas House Education Committee, Policy decisions

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Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Leadership

Major Professor

Robert J. Shoop