Education bills scheduled for committee hearings, possible votes for week of February 12Scott Rothschild
Today begins the last full week of committee action before the “turnaround” deadline for most bills to be passed by the first house on Thursday, February 22. Here is the current schedule.
The House Education Committee is scheduled to take action on HB 2578, which would require school districts to post bullying prevention plans on their website, share copies with students and parents, and file with the Kansas State Department of Education. KASB was neutral on the bill as introduced but concerned about additional amendments.
The House Health and Human Services Committee holds a hearing on a second bill dealing with telemedicine, HB 2674. It would replace HB 2512, which has already had a hearing. The major issue so far concerns language regarding abortion. KASB has joined special education directors and providers and school administrators in urging the committee to make clear telemedicine can be used by school district special education services and still qualify for funding.
Tuesday, Feb. 13
The Senate Education Committee will hold a hearing on two bills. SB 352 would replace state school aid funding from the state highway fund with state general fund dollars next year and prohibit transfers from the SHF for school district weightings in the future. KASB will testify it does not object to replacing highway funds with general funding support, but is concerned that such a change should be done as part of a plan to address long school finance funding, which remains inadequate. SB 319 concerns residence for school attendance of children awaiting foster care or permanent family placement.
The House Education Committee holds a hearing on HB 2613, which would amend state law to require assistive technology, sign language and Braille services for students with a disability attending private schools be provided these services at the private school. KASB will join special education administrators in concern over the expanding cost of these services when special education funding remains substantially below the state commitment for funding. The committee may also take action on other bills that have previously received a hearing.
Wednesday, Feb. 14
The House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee holds a hearing on HB 2701, which would establish a statewide broadband expansion task force. KASB will support creating the task force because of access concerns for rural school districts.
The Senate Committee on Ethics, Elections and Local Government holds a hearing on SB 370, which would prohibit members of school boards or city governing bodies from resigning from a position for the purpose of being appointed to another position on the same governing body if the appointment would result in lengthening the member’s term of office. KASB is reviewing the bill.
The Senate Education Committee holds a hearing on SB 357 which would extend until January of 2019 the deadline for a study of the cost of career technical education programs and report by the Kansas State Department of Education. KSDE conducted such a study last year, and the State Board of Education decided to recommend that the current 0.5 weighting for CTE programs be maintained.
The House Education Committee holds hearings on two bills. HB 2485 would require transportation of certain students residing less than 2.5 miles from school if no safe pedestrian route is available, and if the service would not increase school district costs. HB 2723 would create a process for residents to petition and vote for a transfer of school district territory to another district if a majority of students are attending another district.
Thursday, Feb. 15
The Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee holds a hearing on SB 395, which would set a maximum final average salary amount for purposes of computing retirement benefits for certain members of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, Kansas Police & Fire retirement system and the retirement system for judges. It appears the bill would for set a cap for employees whose date of membership in the KPERS system is on or after July 1, 2018 (or for any member’s period of participating service under a contract with a participating employer entered into on or after April 1, 2018). The average highest annual salary for calculation of benefits shall not to exceed $99,636 annually, plus an annual percentage increase equal to the annual percentage increase in the contribution and benefit base for social security, beginning with calendar year 2019.
The House Education Committee is scheduled to meet for possible action on bills previously heard.