Late breaking: House approves SB 16 on 63-61 vote

Despite opposition from education groups, including KASB, and school districts, the Kansas House on Tuesday approved SB 16, which would make numerous policy changes.

The 63-61 vote sends the bill back to the Senate for consideration. Here is a link to the vote tally.

Pushed by House GOP leaders, SB 16 emerged heavily amended from the House K-12 Education Budget Committee. KASB supports some of the changes, but opposes others, including removal of the 92 percent of excess special education funding target and new requirements on local transportation policies.

In addition, KASB said SB 16 should not have been considered until the school funding issue is resolved.

The House may take up a school finance bill — HB 2395 — later today. KASB urges legislators to reject HB 2395. Please follow KASB on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with further developments.

KASB believes HB 2395 will fall short of what is needed to resolve the Gannon school finance lawsuit before the Kansas Supreme Court. The bill provides funding for only the first two years of an inflation adjustment to the school finance plan passed least session, then eliminates the final two years of that plan, as well as a cost of living adjustment for future years.

As a result, KASB believes it would worsen the state’s position with the court, leave funding below previous constitutional levels after adjustment for inflation, and likely leave Kansas per pupil funding below other states in the nation and region. KASB supports SB 142, which contains the recommendation to address Gannon proposed by the State Board of Education, recommended by Gov. Laura Kelly and passed by the Senate on a bi-partisan 32-8 vote.

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