Update at the Statehouse

Update at the Statehouse

A quick review of Statehouse news:

KASB will be one of the opponents of SCR 1608, which amends the state constitution regarding suitable education finance, in Senate Judiciary Committee hearings at 10:30 this morning. Yesterday, the proponents were Sen. Steve Abrams, R-Arkansas City, and Dave Trabert, Kansas Policy Institute. The committee also received a briefing from the National Conference of State Legislatures, and a report on efforts to amend the New Hampshire constitution.

The House Education Committee receives a briefing today on common core academic standards. Yesterday, the committee held a hearing on HB 2261, which makes flexibility in transfers from certain school district funds that have been authorized over the past two years permanent. The committee also voted to recommend HB 2221, which requires districts to provide equal access to mailboxes and school activities for competing teachers organizations.

The Senate Education Committee will consider action on bills previously heard. This could include SB 103, changing the calculation of at-risk weighting, SB 104, requiring certain policies for internet access in schools, and SB 44, requiring districts to provide additional services to students with dyslexia.

The House Education Budget Committee yesterday approved the K-12 budget essentially as recommended by the Governor, with two exceptions. It added funding for a position to assist schools with e-rate applications; and voted to remove a provision that would require a “means test” for free participation in the Parents as Teachers program. The budget recommendations will go to the House Appropriations Committee Monday morning. That committee has been sifting through all budgets to find reductions in state spending.

That committee held a hearing yesterday on HB 2215, which would move the threshold for transporting certain non-residents students back to 10 miles, after the Legislature dropped the mark to 2.5 miles last session. Today, the committee holds a hearing on HB 2003, which requires districts to adopt a local option budget of at least 10%, which would then be considered as part of funding base state aid per pupil. This proposal, offered over the past two years, was developed to help the state defend itself in school finance litigation.

The second day of the KASB Governmental Relations Seminar concludes today at noon.