House Education Committee to consider Common Core bill this morning after working five bills Thursday

The House Education Committee is scheduled to debate a bill this morning that would try to repeal the Common Core standards in Kansas.  HB 2292, in its original form, defunded Common Core expenditures starting July 1, banned certain programs and added a new layer of student data privacy mandates.  It appears significant amendments will be offered, with no clear direction yet as to what form a bill might take.  Please contact members of the committee and express your concerns with the bill as written or any version that would allow any of these major topics.  If a bill were to get out of committee, it could be debated on the House floor next week.

The committee worked five bills Thursday, two of which were heard for the first time.  The debate ranged from the extremely emotional to the humorous during the two-hour meeting.  In all, three bills were passed out, with one headed to the consent agenda on the House floor.  Two others, perhaps the most controversial, were tabled.

HB 2139 was tabled by a 10-8 vote after a very emotional debate. The bill would rescind the current policy of qualified non-documented students being able to enroll in Kansas postsecondary institutions and pay in-state tuition.

S Sub for SB 60 was tabled with the stipulation the bill would be addressed by a sub-committee next session that would specifically look at how student progress could be ascertained at the home-school level similar to accountability standards students enrolled in public schools meet.  The bill would provide any student who is a resident of a school district must be allowed to participate in any activities the school district offers, regardless of whether the student attends a school in that school district full time, when the student attends a school registered with the Kansas State Board of Education and the school attests to compliance with academic requirements for participation; submits an immunization record in accordance with the statute requiring public school students to submit such record; and submits proof of insurance if required by the school district’s board of education. The bill states this should not be construed to permit a student to participate in an activity if otherwise prohibited from participating because of truancy or for any reason other than attendance.

SB 70 passed out on a voice vote with two amendments after a lengthy discussion. The main amendment relieved the Innovative Districts of the obligation to pay for the fingerprinting. The bill would require any person applying for an initial or renewed teaching license or certificate to submit, at the time of application, fingerprints taken by a qualified law enforcement agency, unless the applicant has previously submitted a complete set taken by a qualified law enforcement agency. The fingerprints would then be submitted by the Kansas State Department of Education (Department) to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) for a criminal background check. The applicant would be required to pay the fee for the criminal background check. The Kansas State Board of Education (Board) would be prohibited from issuing a new or renewed license to any person who does not comply with the fingerprinting requirement.

SB 93 passed easily on a voice vote. The bill would allow Johnson County Community College to share in incentive payments for performance for certain CTE programs. This bill corrects an oversight from last year’s HB 2506.

SB 8 was passed on a voice vote with a recommendation to be placed on the consent agenda due to its non-controversial nature. SB 8 would repeal the law establishing a school district audit team within the Legislative Division of Post Audit (LPA) and require the LPA to conduct performance audits and monitor school district funding and other oversight issues through audit work, as directed by the 2010 Commission.

The last two bills were heard first thing to start the meeting and were worked after rules were suspended given their non-controversial nature.