KASB Daily Education Roundup, Tue. Feb. 11

Two heavy days of hearings on education bills are on tap Wednesday and Thursday.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the House Education Committee held a hearing on HB 2573, which would require students pass an American civics exam in order to graduate. The student could take the test as many times as needed and as early as seventh-grade.  The exam would have 100 questions similar to the questions used for United States citizenship and immigration services. 

KASB opposes the bill, saying curriculum should be established by the local board and that students already are required to take three history and government unites to graduate. The bill is supported by Education Committee Chair Steve Huebert, R-Valley Center, and Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who both said surveys show many people don’t have a basic grasp on how government works. The committee took no action on the bill.

Also Tuesday, the Senate Education Committee started working on SB 271, which would repeal the July expiration date on the law that provides $50 million to schools in high-density, at-risk funding. One proposal would put a new expiration date on the funding in three years. The committee is expected to keep working on the bill. KASB supports removing the expiration date in the current law.

On Wednesday, Senate Education will receive a report on dyslexia and the House K-12 Education Budget Committee will hold a hearing on HB 2526, which would amend the school district capital improvements state aid determination procedures to provide that in general obligation bonds approved on or after July 1, 2020, the state board shall exclude USD 207, Fort Leavenworth from the schedule and the amount of AVPP of the district with the lowest AAVPP of the  remaining districts shall be the point of beginning. The effect would be to increase capital improvement aid for districts because the starting point would be a much higher valuation per pupil. It also addresses the fact that because valuation in USD 207, a military base, does increase and most other districts have increasing valuation per pupil over time, current law reduces state equalization aid for most districts over time. KASB supports the bill.

On Thursday, the K-12 Education Budget Committee will conduct a hearing on HB 2552, which provides that students who score at the lowest level on the state English Language Arts assessment in third or fourth grade would be given two options.  First, the student could receive an amount of funding equal to base state aid to cover the cost of attending an accredited private school. Second, an amount equal to at-risk weighting could be set aside in an account from which the school district must “provide those evidence based practices and programs requested by the parent of such eligible student to the extent the cost of such practices or programs is covered by moneys transferred to such student’s account.” KASB opposes this bill.

Also on Thursday are hearings on:

HB 2563, before House Federal and State Affairs, that would prohibit the use of cigarette, electronic cigarettes, consumable material and tobacco products in any school building and would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21.

HB 2601, before House Education, wold amend the immunization statute for schools and child care facilities to list the 11 immunizations required for students enrolling the first time and gives the secretary of Health the authority to adopt rules and regulations.

Here is a recap on Facebook Live.

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