KASB Daily Education Roundup, Mon. March 11Scott Rothschild
The House Education Committee on Monday considered SB 128, which requires schools to conduct nine safety drills each year. The committee may take action on the bill Tuesday.
SB 128 came about after the Legislature added a proviso in this year’s budget that required 16 safety drills, including 9 crisis, or shooter-type, drills. With 16 required drills, schools have been conducting an exercise nearly every 10 days, which takes away from instruction time and has caused some students to experience trauma, according to school officials.
Education leaders and the Kansas Fire Marshal’s Office agreed that nine drills — four fire, three crisis and two tornado — was a more reasonable amount and the measure passed the Senate 40-0. KASB supports the bill.
KASB is also following developments on SB 22, which would cut taxes by approximately $200 million in the next fiscal year, thus making it more difficult to fund schools and other state services in need of additional revenue. The measure has been approved in the Senate and the House, which added amendments. KASB opposes SB 22.
If the Senate approves the House-amended version, it would then go to Gov. Laura Kelly for her consideration. Kelly has said before cutting taxes she wants to allow the budget to recover this year from years of revenue shortfalls that resulted after massive tax cuts. Kelly also wants to increase school funding and patch up other budget areas.
KASB also is following SB 142, a school finance measure that would add $92 million in the fiscal year that starts July 1 and $89 million in the fiscal year after that. That’s on top of increases enacted in 2018. The legislation was sent to the full Senate last week. KASB testified in support of SB 142.