Governor signs school term waiver bill, continuous learning plans required

Gov. Laura Kelly today signed a bill into law giving the State Board of Education more authority to waive minimum school term requirements, but state officials stress districts will continue to provide learning services to students. 

The Governor issued an executive order Tuesday ordering all K-12 school buildings, public or private, to close and cease in-person instruction until May 29, 2020, unless they can operate under health directives, which currently limit facilities to 10 persons. 

The order also directed the State Board and Department of Education to develop guidelines for continuing learning plans for students while schools are closed. Commissioner of Education Randy Watson says those plans will have to be part of waiver applications. KSDE released a guidance document for continuing learning plans this morning. 

The conference committee agreement on the state budget bill also directs the State Board to require school districts submit continuous learning plans to receive a waiver from school attendance requirements for the rest of the current school year. The Legislature is expected to vote on the budget bill today before adjourning the regular 2020 session. 

The bill signed by the Governor, SB 142, also states that “It is the intent of the legislature that any school district applying for a waiver shall continue to pay all current hourly employees, including, but not limited to, paras, maintenance and custodial employees.” 

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