House plans debate on education bills

The Kansas House plans to debate a series of bills concerning K-12 education today – but not teacher due process. Please follow KASB on social media and the News Briefs for the latest developments.

Today is the “turnaround” deadline for the 2018 session: non-exempt bills must be passed by the house of origin or may not be considered for the remainder of the session. However, there are number of ways bills may be exempt, including referral to or reintroduction by exempt committees. KASB will provide a full report on which bills are exempt next week. 

Here are the education-related bills scheduled for House debate today. 

HB 2602 creates a task force on dyslexia and related disorders in public schools. It replaces the original bill, which would have mandated new screening tests and services. KASB opposes the original bill, but does supports further study to address dyslexia.  

HB 2460 authorizes school districts to offer firearm safety education programs in public schools (which is already permitted), but if districts have such programs they must be in accordance state standards based on the with NRA Eagle the Eagle program or Kansas Wildlife and Parks hunter safety program.  KASB supports authority to offer such programs but opposes requiring local boards to adopt specific curriculum. Specific instructional requirements are not required in any other programs. KASB Testimony 

HB 2040 increases fines for overtaking and passing of school buses. The original bills, introduced last session, also deal with video recordings for drivers passing buses illegally. These provisions were removed from the bill. 

HB 2674 establishes the Kansas telemedicine act. KASB supports expansion telemedicine to include special education health services provided by school districts. 

HB 2701 establishing the statewide broadband expansion task force to study ways to improve broadband services to underserved areas of the state. KASB supports the bill, which includes the commissioner of education as an ex-officio member of the task force. 

House leadership has decided not hold a debate on HB 2578, which adds additional requirements to state law regarding school bullying prevention plans polices; and was also amended to restore the teacher due process law repealed in 2014. Instead, leadership committed to scheduling a debate later in the session on two separate bills on these subjects. New bills exempt from deadlines were introduced yesterday by the House Taxation Committee, which is an exempt committee. 

KASB was neutral on the bullying previsions, testifying that most districts are already attempting to do what the bill requires. KASB opposes restoration of the previous due process. The position adopted by the Delegate Assembly is that the employing school board should make the decision on continuing employment of teachers, subject to legal review. 

The Kansas Senate does not have any education bills scheduled for debate today. 

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