Senate committee hearing new school finance plan today

Testimony will be given today on legislation that represents sweeping changes to the current school finance formula and would replace the recently approved temporary formula.

The public hearing on Senate Bill 294 will be held at noon before the Senate Education Committee.

The committee is scheduled to meet again at noon on Wednesday to work on the bill for possible consideration of the full Legislature.

KASB will testify as neutral on the bill, supporting portions of it, but opposed to other parts of it. Here is a link to KASB testimony.

KASB conducted a special Webinar on Monday on SB 294. Here is a link to the archived recording of the Webinar and background documents on the bill.

KASB feels it is important for school officials to learn as much as possible about SB 294 and communicate with their representatives on how the proposal would affect their districts.

The bill provides a base amount of funding per student and also additional funding based on population density and poverty. Perhaps the most distinct aspect of the plan is that a portion of funding is based on a “Success Index,” that attempts to measure a student’s progress after high school graduation.

As proposed, the legislation would start as a pilot project next school year then expand over the next two years to replace the so-called block grant education bill that was recently passed and is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback.