Hearings scheduled this week on firearms safety, taking office, suicide and bullying prevention bills

Four bills directly concerning school boards and districts have hearings scheduled this week. 

Tuesday, 9 a.m. 

The House Federal and State Affairs Committee holds a hearing on HB 2460, which authorizes but does not require school districts to provide firearm safety education programs in public schools. KASB will oppose the bill as introduced because it seems to require that any firearms safety program must follow State Board of Education curriculum standards, based on specific programs. KASB oppose specific state curriculum requirements. 

Thursday, 9:30 a.m. 

The Senate Ethics, Elections and Local Government Committee holds a hearing on SB 325, which would require that city, school district, other municipal elected officials take office at the first regularly scheduled meeting of the governing body following the certification of the November election, rather than the second Monday in January as provided in current law. 

The bill would restore the policy of taking office immediately for cities, when elections were previously held in April. Under the previous law, school board members took office in July. KASB has not adopted a specific position on this proposal, but will recommend the committee not take action on changing the date for school boards until KASB can further study the impact of the fall election changes. Comments from KASB members are welcome. 

Thursday, 1:30 p.m. 

The Senate Education Committee holds a hearing on SB 333, which would amend current requirements for local boards of education to provide suicide awareness and prevention programming to school staff, which is known as the Jason Flatt Act. The bill would require that the prevention programming be a written plan that would be published on the school district’s website and would identify the training materials and the school staff required to participate in the training. The bill would repeal the current requirement that all staff receive training and repeal the one-hour time requirement for each calendar year for staff. 

KASB is planning to be neutral on the bill; noting the importance of addressing emotional issues for students. The bill provides both some additional requirements on boards and some greater flexibility. 

Thursday, 3:30 p.m. 

The House Education Committee holds a hearing on HB 2578, which would require school districts to publish bullying polices on their website and file a copy with the State Board of Education. KASB is reviewing the bill. The proposed changes are minor. 

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